Page last updated at 11:26 GMT, Sunday, 15 March 2009

Tobacco displays given more time

Shop cigarette display
Cigarette displays will be banned under the government proposals

Small retailers are to be given an extra two years to remove tobacco displays from their shops, the Scottish Government has announced.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison said the move was designed to minimise the impact on smaller businesses.

A ban on cigarette displays at the point of sale is a key proposal in a recently published government bill.

Large retailers such as supermarkets will have until 2011 to implement the ban, and smaller retailers until 2013.

The Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill is expected to become law later this year.

Ms Robison said: "Point of sale marketing is a powerful tool - particularly among young people. I believe it's inappropriate for cigarettes to be promoted in this way and our bill proposes banning their display at point of sale.

"My aspiration is for Scotland to become smoke-free, but I also want it to be prosperous.

"That's why, following liaison with retailers, we have taken steps to minimise the impact of the display ban by giving small retailers an extra two years to implement the measures."

Ms Robison will formally announce the extension for small retailers at the National Federation of Retail Newsagents' Scottish conference in Cumbernauld on Monday.

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