Sainsbury’s in Tobacco Withdrawal Trial
Retailer magazine,The Grocer, has reported that Sainsbury’s has stopped selling tobacco in its St Andrew’s Square store in Edinburgh city centre due to the a tax imposed by the Scottish government.
Under the new Public Health Levy, retailers will be taxed on any store with a rateable value of more that £300,000 that sells both tobacco and alcohol.
A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s told the magazine “The impact of the Public Health Levy, recently introduced by the Scottish government, has led us to undertake a review of the sale of tobacco in our Scottish stores…as part of this review we have removed tobacco products from our St Andrew Square store for the time being.”
Whilst there has been speculation that they might stop selling tobacco in Scotland altogether, leading tobacco suppliers said this was unlikely.
One tobacco manufacturer said that although this was a “worrying development,” they would be surprised if any others followed suit, saying “tobacco is that important.”
However, anti-tobacco group Ash, praised the actions of Sainsbury’s and called on other retailers to do the same. Ash Scotland chief executive Sheila Duffy said “tobacco is an addictive product that is lethal to half of its consumers when used as intended…Sainsbury’s decision will help support its customers who are trying to quit smoking.”
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