The Scottish Beer and Pub Association (SBPA) has said a proposed ban on cigarette vending machines in pubs will hurt publicans, while having negligible impact on reducing underage smoking.
The proposal forms part of the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill, published today.
It comes after Scotland's Smoking Prevention Action Plan, published last May, outlined a range of measures designed to reduce smoking rates in Scotland.
Banning cigarette vending machines in pubs in Scotland and removing tobacco displays in shops are core measures within the bill.
Patrick Browne, chief executive of the SBPA, said: "Under current and future licensing laws in Scotland, children and young people are generally only allowed into specific areas of a licensed premises under the supervision of adults, if at all, so banning cigarette vending machines in pubs will have a minimal effect on stopping underage sales.
Browne warned that rather than simply stopping people buying cigarettes, the new rules if passed could see customers leaving the pub entirely not to return.
By Chris Druce
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