Tobacco and Vapes Bill

Written evidence submitted by Nishi Patel, owner of Londis Bexley Park (TVB20)


· The new tobacco law is likely to increase violence against shopkeepers.

· It will be a difficult law for retailers to safely enforce.

Dear Committee,

1. My name is Nishi Patel and I am the owner of Londis Bexley Park in Dartford. I am writing to express concern around the proposed Tobacco and Vapes Bill. I sell tobacco and vape products in my store, and they remain an important footfall driver for my business.

2. My main concern around the bill comes from the threat of increased violence to myself and my employees as a result of the bill being passed. Violence and abuse against shopworkers are already on the rise within the convenience retail sector. Figures from the 2024 ACS Crime Report show that retailers have recorded around 76,000 incidents of violence in local shops in the past year alone. ID checks or refusal of sale are often a common cause of this violence.

3. The introduction of this generational tobacco ban is likely to make this threat of violence and abuse worse, impacting hard-working retailers and their staff across the country.

4. On top of this, the generational ban would be an impractical law to enforce with increased ID checks likely to slow down transactions in-store and lead to frustrated customers.

5. I am asking you to consider the impact on convenience store retailers who will be on the frontline of enforcing this new law if approved.

All the best,

Nishi Patel

April 2024


Prepared 2nd May 2024