Scotland business

Six Scottish Sainsbury's supermarkets end cigarette sales

Cigarettes on display in a shop
Image caption Cigarette sales are being scaled back in response to the health levy

Sainsbury's has confirmed it is to remove tobacco from sale at a further six supermarkets in Scotland.

It said the move is in response to the Scottish government's health levy, a supplementary charge on business rates paid by large stores selling cigarettes and alcohol.

Sainsbury's already operates three supermarkets and one convenience store in Scotland which do not sell tobacco.

The extension of the policy will come into force on Monday 12 November.

The stores covered by the change are at Drumchapel, Garthdee, Hamilton, Saltcoats, Livingston and Leven.

The health levy applies to outlets with a rateable value of more than £300,000.

About 240 of the largest stores in Scotland are thought to be affected.

Ministers estimated that it would raise £110m during its first four years of operation.

A report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), commissioned by Asda, claimed that profits from Scottish supermarkets could be reduced by 10% following the introduction of the levy.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish government said: "The public health supplement was introduced in recognition of Scotland's well-documented health and social problems associated with alcohol and tobacco use.

"This government is already taking action fixed - to reduce alcohol and tobacco-related harm through legislation to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol and banning tobacco displays.

"The public health supplement will contribute towards the preventative spend measures that are being taken forward jointly with the Scottish government, local authorities, the NHS and the third sector."

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