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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 …
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