Retailers’ own mind on ASH campaign

cigarette-packs-in-gantryCAMPAIGN group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has urged small store retailers to consider whether they really need to sell tobacco.

ASH claims to have  “demolished the tobacco industry argument that local newsagents need tobacco sales” by showing small shops make average profit of £242 a week on tobacco compared to £2,611 from everything else. ASH said it was asking retailers to consider if the tobacco industry’s interests are aligned with their own.

However, at the SG Convenience Conversation event Lindsay Mennell Keating, UK government affairs manager for Imperial Tobacco, said: “It’s well-publicised what ASH’s position is on tobacco and manufacturers. What’s interesting about this announcement is they’re not only going after us now. They’re going after the retail community.”

And Premier and Family Shopper retailer Mo Razzaq wasn’t impressed by the ASH argument.

“I think the interests of retailers are more closely aligned with tobacco manufacturers than with ASH. It’s no surprise that ASH are coming after us now, they’re on a crusade. But retailers have their own minds,” he said.