Hampshire Trading Standards

Point of Sale advertising of tobacco

This advice is designed to provide basic guidance to traders. It is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law.

Display Ban

The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Display) (England) Regulations 2010

The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Display of Prices) (England) Regulations 2010

They come into force on the 6 April 2012 for large shops and April 2015 for all others.

Retail business proprietors and managers are responsible for making sure that by the relevant date, all areas in which tobacco products are on sale comply with the new law. Also, that all price lists and price labels for tobacco products are in the required formats.

Tobacco products must be stored out of the public sight except in limited circumstances. The size of each temporary display allowed must not exceed 1.5 square metres.  It will be illegal to show as well as to sell tobacco products to a customer under the age of 18 who asks to see or buy tobacco.

From the same dates, price lists and price labels for tobacco products must only be displayed in the specific formats set out in the new law.

Poster Style Price lists must not exceed A3 size

Picture Price Lists

  • is not restricted by size
  • Must not be on general or permanent display to customers
  • Can only be displayed for as long as is necessary for the customer requesting the information to obtain the information they need.
  • May contain colour pictures of each tobacco product as packaged for sale, as long as each picture does not exceed 50 square centimetres in size.
  • One copy for each till is allowed

It is not an offence to show a tobacco product to a person aged 18 or over who asks to buy a tobacco product or who has asked for information about a tobacco product. This display is described in the legislation as a “Requested Display”

It is not an offence if other people in the shop (including children) see a tobacco product as a consequence of a “Requested Display”

It is not an offence to display tobacco products when assessing stock levels, actively placing a tobacco product in a storage unit while cleaning, maintaining or the refurbishment of a tobacco storage unit is actively being carried out. In all cases the area of tobacco storage unit on open display must not exceed 1.5 square metres.

It is an offence for tobacco products to be visible while they are being moved around the shop, for example, while being taken from a stock room to the storage unit to restock.


As from 6 April 2012 no A5 advert is allowed in shops with a relevant floor area exceeding 280 square metres (the definition used in the Sunday Trading Act 1994).

The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Point of Sale) Regulations 2004 strictly control the amount of advertising permitted where tobacco products are sold.

These regulations ensure that advertising of tobacco, which is also banned on billboards and in newspapers and magazines, is very strictly controlled at the Point of Sale, with the maximum area of advertising being restricted to A5 in size (half the size of this A4 guidance note).

It is an offence to advertise in any way other than within the strictly controlled guidelines.

You cannot advertise tobacco products within your premises other than at point of sale and any advertising that you do will be restricted to an A5 size in total.

Posters in shop windows, sandwich boards outside premises, awnings that carry a tobacco brand or logo that advertise tobacco products will be therefore be prohibited.


As from 6 April 2012 no A5 advert is allowed in shops with a relevant floor area exceeding 280 square metres (the definition used in the Sunday Trading Act 1994).

This is the point where your gantry or display unit is fixed. You may therefore advertise at this place but no where else in the premises. If you have more than one point of sale within the premises then you may only advertise at one point. (If the premises are occupied by more than one business, then each business within the premises may have one point of sale).

What sort of advert can I have?

The advert must be 2 dimensional and may be one single advert or several provided that the total area does not exceed A5 in size.

The advert can include the following information:

  • the name, or emblem or any other feature of the tobacco product
  • the price of a packet and the size that the price relates to

The advert must include the warning:

  • "Smoking Kills "or "Smoking seriously harms you and others around you " and
  • "NHS Smoking Helpline 0800 1690169"

This warning must cover 30% of the area of the advert, be indelible, legible, black text on a white background, with font size so that the text occupies the greatest possible proportion of the area, and surrounded by a black border 3-4 mm in width.

You may not have any advertisement that is displayed electronically on a screen or contains a moving image or background or an image that changes colour or is lit by flashing lights.


If you are a Specialist Tobacconist, because of the complex nature of the legislation, please contact us for further information on 01962 833620.


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Hampshire Trading Standards
Montgomery House
Monarch Way, Winchester SO22 5PW

tel 01962 833620
fax 01962 833699
email tsadvice@hants.gov.uk