Six Scottish Sainsbury's supermarkets end cigarette sales

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

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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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  • rate this

    Comment number 110.

    It has nothing to do with health - and I doubt the numbers add up. Loss of tax from a packet of cigarettes x the smoking public versus the increase in tax from supermarkets for the right to sell tobacco products, but no contingency for any tax creation AT ALL if the supermarkets don't play along.

    Basis of the 17th C borders/reivers economy I believe.

  • Comment number 109.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    Hmmm, Ministers estimated that it would raise £110m during its first four years of operation, but fail to mention that they would probably loose £500m in lost tobacco tax revenue. You gotta laugh.

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.

    Good. First tobacco companies enticed adults on smoking. You could smoke indoors and it was cool back then. Look at things now. Science investigated into the effects of smoking. There was a link between smoking and lung cancer. To defend smoking is to reject science. What is the point of science if we do nothing about it? I surely don't want others to increase the risks of getting cancer.

  • rate this

    Comment number 106.

    Smoking is afilthy stinking habit/addiction.Im a smoker and would love to quit.Electronic fag is cheaper than a pack of 20 and has nicotene of 20.Can you imagine what would happen if every smoker turned too Electronic fags.

  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    3 Minutes ago
    More freedoms lost.

    Who the hell runs these idiot organisations that are so easily conned by the trendy health and safety preachers."

    I agree. The freedom to kill other people through passive smoking is one we should cherish to the bitter end.

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    The Scottish government is an embarassment. Next they will be taxing people to walk on the pavement incase somebody slips and falls.

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    89 hugh
    why stop at that disgusting habit?..lets ban 3 girls...swearing..dancing..shooting pheasants, foxes,rabbits, outside marriage..divorce..and force everyone into church on sundays instead of watching tv...then we can all be perfect.

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.


    Tobacco is unique amongst the legal drugs in that it has no redeeming features and causes harm even in small amounts ie 1 fag a day. It also damages non-smokers if used irresponsibly in the presence of others. Even alcohol has some redeeming features in small amounts and doesn't harm others directly. It only harms others if used to excess or if the user breaks the law eg. by drink driving

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    A foretaste of whats to come from Scotland's autocrats? In the not too distant future a business opportunity is opening up for cannie traders in England's border towns selling cut price alcohol and tobacco. Nearer to home the bootleggers will be rubbing their hands.

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    76 StuR
    "This is what happens when Salmond The Bruce gets a taste of devolved power."

    Again, all the other major parties in Scotland support the health levy.

    I suppose you could look at how David Cameron is reacting to his power, by selling off the NHS to his mates, whilst the NHS in Scotland remains nationalised. Increasing tobacco taxes doesn't seem that bad by comparison.

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    More freedoms lost.

    Who the hell runs these idiot organisations that are so easily conned by the trendy health and safety preachers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    alistair all im saying is i wont be back in sainsburys cos they have done something im against. and i shopped in there all the time so there is £s they are gony be missing weekly

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    I myself have never smoked, and I know people who have been seriously affected (even died) as a consequence of the habit.

    But, despite my experiences, I am not against smoking. I'm not going to be the one to tell people what to do and what not to do. They smoke knowing full well the potential dangers, and I don't think removing cigarettes from sale in a few shops is going to make a difference.

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    More power to the black market, nothing been learned from the prohibition days of the past? FREE Country, yeah right, alcohol next then.

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    I gave up smoking 5 years ago after watching my mother die of lung cancer. I would just like to point out that the smoking ban in pubs has helped me to stay stopped. In a similar vein, this might help others to quit by not having to see cigarettes on display.

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    Even Winston Smith was allowed his Victory gin & smokes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    As a non-smoker who hates smoking, even I think this is ridiculous.

    Mind you, I have the ability to see the big picture and long-term consequences.

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    they may legalize marijuana but they will make smoking it illegal.....dont want to upset the anti-smoking brigade..

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    86. steve

    No, It's probably more than £11Bn when you take into account all of the savings made by not having to pay the pensions of those who die younger due to smoking.
    Most smokers who die from smoking are pensioners already, so the argument regarding the increased ability to work is tenuous at best.


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