Council reminds traders of cigarette vending machine ban

Hackney Council is reminding all businesses to remove cigarette and tobacco vending machines from their premises by the end of this month, before they become outlawed in October.

From 1 October, it will be illegal* to sell cigarettes or tobacco from an automatic vending machine to any person - regardless of their age. Advertising on cigarette vending machines will also be prohibited.

The law applies throughout England, and business owners flouting the law may be fined up to £2,500 if they are found guilty of selling tobacco from a vending machine. The penalty is raised to £5,000, with a possible six month jail term if the cigarette machine also displays advertising.

Owners or managers of premises with vending machines should contact machine owners this month to request their removal before 1 October. Where machines cannot be removed, they should be taken out of operation (e.g. payment slots blocked, all products removed and advertising covered).

Councillor Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at the Council, says “Our Trading Standards Team has written to businesses to remind them of their obligations, and we urge anyone with an installed cigarette vending machine to act in plenty of time to ensure it is removed or taken out of action by 1 October. The team will be carrying out spot checks throughout October to check for compliance, so now is the time to take action.”

For more information, contact the Trading Standards Team on 020 8356 4929.