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Hundreds of Hungarian tobacco stores to stay closed from tomorrow

New regulations controlling Hungarian tobacco stores (or as Hungarians call them: trafiks) force the closure of many trafiks around Hungary. Owners are not losing their concession rights, however if they want to continue business they will have to move their stores.

New regulations prohibit the operation of trafiks in hypermarkets and on gas stations where the overall store area exceeds 2,500 square meters. Also, the entrance of two trafiks cannot be closer than 200 meters to each other, though this distance is measured in the way done by walk and not in bee line.

Some owners said that, despite the prohibitions, they are going to open on Sunday as the grace period enables them to do so, however nothing like this is included in the regulations. Plans had been nurtured to ban tobacco stores from the vicinity of schools but later these plans were abandoned.

The government decided about the laws regulating tobacco store concessions in September 2012 in order to fight off teenage smoking. Concessions are to be won through state tenders and one concession is available for twenty years. At the present, approximately 6,000 trafiks are in operation.