Glennie Heights Convenience Store owner Richard Thew made signs to let customers know he still sells cigarettes.
Glennie Heights Convenience Store owner Richard Thew made signs to let customers know he still sells cigarettes. Georja Ryan

New rules 'burn' stores

LOCAL shop owners are feeling the pinch as Labor's new cigarette legislation forces them to cover up their tobacco products.

Locals believe it will only cause more problems for businesses, without achieving its proposed purpose; to stop people smoking.

Small business owners are at the hub of the impact and Glennie Heights Convenience Store owner Richard Thew said he had no problem with deterring people from smoking, but this is not the answer.

"I can't see how it's going to change people's smoking habits, it will just slow down service," he said.

"Last I heard it was a free country, but we are having our decisions made for us," Mr Thew said.

Mr Thew is not the only one who thinks the new legislation is pointless.

Owner of Hoffman's Friendly Grocer Jo Hoffman said it will not deter sales, but create problems for consumers and businesses.

"There are too many pen pushers making decisions that don't fit in in the real world," Ms Hoffman said.

Shop owners may have it tough, but not as tough as tobacconists.

Owner of Free Choice Tobacconist on Fitzroy St, Neil Parfitt did not just feel the impact of one new legislation introduction, but his entire business experienced a whirlwind of change forbidding him to sell certain products because he is a tobacconist.

"What affected us greatly was that we had to get rid of all our groceries, take-away, sandwiches, cold meats, fruit and vegetables," Mr Parfitt said.

"They've taken us away from being a convenience store and a tobacconist, to being just a tobacconist meaning we can't sell any of that stuff," he said.

The new plain packaging legislation that passed through parliament yesterday will see cigarette packets imprinted with a large image of diseased body parts, with a small strip of olive green down the bottom where the brand name will be printed.

Mr Parfitt said the new packaging will cause confusion among customers and clerks.

"It will be very time consuming and confusing on what we give to the customer and if they asked for 4ml cigarettes and we gave them stronger, they can sue us," he said.

"They (Labor) believe people will come in and say 'oh that's a pretty packet of cigarettes' and buy it, but it doesn't work that way."

Legislation

Cigarettes must be behind closed shutters or a curtain.

They must remain closed and only opened when the customer asks for the product.

Plain Packaging will be enforced in December 2012.


IN COURT: 59 people appearing in Magistrates Court today

Premium Content IN COURT: 59 people appearing in Magistrates Court today

A full list of who is listed to face charges in Stanthorpe Magistrates Court...

Qld’s hard border closure costing us $5m a day

Premium Content Qld’s hard border closure costing us $5m a day

Queensland-NSW border closure costing economy $5m a day: report

Warwick ‘boomerang’ encourages naysayers to let go of stigma

Premium Content Warwick ‘boomerang’ encourages naysayers to let go of stigma

The number of youth returning home is on the rise — but here’s why it could be good...