From the 6 April 2015 the law will change to prevent the display of tobacco products in all retailers of tobacco.
The Environmental Health Section is responsible for a range of legislation covering tobacco control issues including the sale and display of tobacco products and the smoke free legislation.
From the 6 April 2016 all retailers of tobacco products in Northern Ireland must be registered on Tobacco Register NI. The Tobacco Retailers Act 2014 introduces a requirement for anyone running a tobacco business to register with the registration authority which is Belfast City Council.
The register will be a list of businesses which sell tobacco and be accessible by the public. Full details about how to register is available at Tobacco Register NI.
Tobacco Products Display Ban
From the 6 April 2015 the law will change to prevent the display of tobacco products in all retailers of tobacco. After these dates retailers will not be able have tobacco products on sale in public view. The new law will also place controls on how prices are displayed. The new controls are being introduced as part of the new Tobacco Control Strategy for Northern Ireland and is one initiative among many being delivered to help to reduce smoking uptake by young people and to support adult smokers who want to quit.
Further information and detail on the effect of the new law is available in this guidance document produced by Dept of Health Social Services and Public Safety
Vending Machine Ban
From the 1 March 2012 it became illegal to sell tobacco products from vending machines in Northern Ireland. Businesses can use these vending machines to sell other types if they wish or can move them to locations that can only be accessed by staff. These measure was one of a number introduced to reduce the opportunities that under-18's have to purchase cigarettes illegally.
Further information on this change in the law is available in this guidance information.
The Environmental Health Section carried out a programme of work each year to ensure all tobacco retailers are away of their requirements not to sell tobacco products to those under 18. As part of this work test purchases of tobacco products may take place in retailers using a child whose is under 18 to check that retailers are complying with their responsibilities.
Going Smoke Free
Since 30 April 2007 all of Northern Ireland's workplaces and public buildings have been smoke free.
The Smoking (NI) Order 2006 affects most businesses in Northern Ireland including factories, offices, bars and restaurants as well as work vehicles and public transport.
The law also applies to enclosed public places such as community and church halls, sports centres, shopping centres and schools. The Environmental Health team in Council is available to answer any smoke-free queries businesses may have.
In the years since the new law was introduced there has been very high level of compliance across all types of workplaces and businesses. However there are still issues with smoking in both taxi's and work vehicles.
If you would like further information on any of the information on this page please contact your local Environmental Health office on T: 0300 124 5000