The final committee stage of the Tobacco and Primary Services (Scotland) Bill took place today, progressing potential legislation that would introduce a tobacco display ban along with tobacco proxy purchasing laws.
At present, it is not a criminal offence to buy tobacco products for minors. The Bill aims to establish Scottish laws on tobacco proxy purchasing and make it an offence for a person under the age of 18 to attempt to purchase tobacco. In addition, police will be given new powers which allow them to confiscate tobacco from under 18 year olds. If supported by the Scottish Parliament, these measures will bring tobacco legislation into line with alcohol laws. The Bill also seeks to introduce the following:
- A registration scheme for retailers
- Fixed penalty notices for retailers who sell cigarettes to under 18s
- Banning orders to prevent retailers selling cigarettes if they continually flout the law
Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) Chief Executive, John Drummond said: “Much of this Bill is extremely damaging to retailers. However, moves to criminalising proxy purchasing would be welcome. Proxy purchasing tobacco for young people is immoral and should be illegal.
“The final Stage 3 debate is not likely to take place until January 2010. Over the next few weeks we will be encouraging members to support us in making one last ditch attempt to persuade MSPs that a display ban is not the right course of action.”