The Government has a key opportunity to change how tobacco is supplied and sold. Limiting the number and type of retailers permitted to sell tobacco, such as by establishing specialist R18 retail outlets as the only stores able to sell tobacco, would reduce opportunities for crime.
Removing tobacco from all current outlets would create a level-playing field and thus address an important concern retailers in our research studies have voiced. Store owners’ fears that customers would go elsewhere to purchase tobacco, and other more profitable products they might buy at the same time, would no longer apply. Only specialist stores would sell tobacco, and that would be their only product range.
In this scenario, specialist store owners who sold tobacco could invest in enhanced security to minimise the risk of theft; store owners no longer selling tobacco would enjoy increased safety and reduced crime.
This proposal from academics shows the ivory towers some of them live in.
Who the hell would invest their capital in setting up a store that was only allowed to sell one product, and would be the biggest armed robbery target in town?
And considering that smoking prevalance is dropping (which is good), again who would invest in a retail store that can only sell one product?
This proposal would fuel the black market even more. It would turn tobacco into a drug mainly supplied on the black market, and would be a boon for criminals and gangs.