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Slapped with a fine or a slap on the wrist? Enforcing tobacco licensing legislation
  1. Suzan Burton1,
  2. Scott C Walsberger2,
  3. Kelly Williams2
  1. 1 University of Western Sydney, School of Business, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2 Cancer Council NSW, Woolloomooloo, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Prof. Suzan Burton; s.burton{at}

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In order to decrease the promotion of tobacco through retail outlets, the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control recommends a total ban on any display of and/or visibility of tobacco products.1 Enforcing such a ban is much easier if there is an accurate list of tobacco retailers, a list which is provided by a tobacco retailer licensing system. Correspondingly, the WHO’s Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products recommends licensing retailers of tobacco products ‘to the extent considered appropriate…and when not prohibited by national law’ (WHO, p11).2 The protocol goes on to recommend a system to ‘undertake … periodic review, renewal, inspection or audit of licences where appropriate’ and to, where appropriate, ‘renew, suspend, revoke and/or cancel licences’.2 Consistent with those recommendations, there has been strong community support3 and increasing academic interest in the value of regulating the retail tobacco market,4 5 including, though not limited to, schemes that allow retailer licences (or ‘permits’) to be used to …

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  • Contributors SW and SB jointly had the idea. SW did the first draft, which was extended by SB. KW contributed to the writing. All authors approved the final manuscript.

  • Competing interests No, there are no competing interests.

  • Patient consent The study does not involve human subjects.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement We have no additional data available for sharing at this time.