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Tobacco sales decrease while alcohol sales increase, report revealed

Fewer than 20% of sales at local convenience stores are of tobacco - a decline from last year - while alcohol sales increased, a new report revealed.

The 'Local Shop Report 2015' from The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has shown a decline in the sale of tobacco from convenience stores in the last year. There has been a 1.2% drop, down from 20.0% in 2014 to 18.8% in 2015.

Commenting on this, the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) said in a statement: “While this suggests that the nation as a whole is less reliant on tobacco, this measurement also includes the purchase of e-cigarettes. We believe e-cigarettes should be treated as a separate category in order to further distance them from tobacco, and aid in the accurate monitoring of sales.”

This is in line with national smoking statistics, the latest of which is at it's lowest since recording started in the 1940s, with 2014 figures from the National Office of Statistics suggesting that the habit's prevalence among over 18s fell from 19.8% in 2012 to 18.7% in 2013.

However, in the report - along with the decline in tobacco sales - there has also been a drop in the sale of fresh fruit and vegetables and an increase in the sale of alcohol, which the society branded “a troubling trend”.

“Similarly, the 1% increase in the sale of alcohol in the last year, from 12.8% in 2014 up to 13.8% in 2015, is a concern. If this trend continues, it is further reason to push for minimum unit pricing on alcohol in order to tackle this growing problem,” they added.