Clause 12 - Restricted premises orders

Part of Tobacco and Vapes Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:45 pm ar 9 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 2:45, 9 Mai 2024

My hon. Friend makes a really good point. It also justifies why this is particularly complicated to explain, let alone to take in. That is one of the reasons why there is a long lead-in period for that new regulation. There will be training for retail. We have discussed this with various industry bodies, and they support it and consider that there is enough time for them to get up to speed. Essentially, that strays into the issue of the quantum of fines. The idea is that it is effectively an on-the-spot fine; it is really, “Two strikes and you’re out.” If someone offends twice, they will end up with a restricted premises order, and if they offend again, they will get an unlimited fine. It is an appropriate escalation. At the starting point, there are a number of other fines that are of a similar quantum, where someone could potentially argue, “Well, I did not realise. I am new; I did not get the training; I was not here that day,” and then it is not such a painful fine. They would certainly learn their lesson, however, and after two offences it escalates very significantly.

Clause 56 amends the Tobacco Retailers Act (Northern Ireland) 2014 and introduces the power for the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to amend the definition of a tobacco, nicotine or non-nicotine vape offence for which a restricted premises order can be issued. That is the same provision made for England and Wales in clause 15. Clauses 15, in England and Wales, and 56, in Northern Ireland, are important to maintain the longevity of the legislation. They will ensure that enforcement action remains up to date to reflect any relevant new tobacco or vape products that come on to the market in future. I therefore commend the clauses to the Committee.