Scotland politics

Tobacco display ban in Scotland to come into effect on 29 April

Cigarettes displayed in cabinet
Image caption The cigarette display ban will come into force on 29 April

The Scottish government has announced that a ban on the display of cigarettes in Scotland's large shops will come into effect on 29 April this year.

Self-service tobacco vending machines will also be banned on the same day.

Smaller retailers will be given until 6 April, 2015, to fully comply with the new legislation.

At the end of last year Imperial Tobacco lost its legal challenge against the ban after bringing the issue before Supreme Court judges.

The company had claimed the act was outside the competence of Holyrood as sales supply and product safety were matters reserved to Westminster.

A panel of five judges unanimously ruled against the company, saying its challenges were not well-founded.

The Scottish government believes the steps will remove the temptation for young people to take up smoking.

Public Health Michael Matheson said: "We know that reducing the number of people that smoke will have wide benefits for Scotland's health and evidence shows that these bans will help prevent young people from taking up smoking.

"That is why we believe this is the right approach for Scotland and I am delighted that we are now in a position to implement these bans, which is a key step in maintaining Scotland's position as a world leader on tobacco control.

"We have worked closely with retailers to set this date. We appreciate that smaller retailers need extra time to make the necessary changes and so we have decided that April 2015 represents a fair timescale for implementing the display ban for them."

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