The Scottish Government has issued new guidance confirming when its display ban on tobacco will affect retailers.

Larger stores, classified as having a sales area greater than 280sq m, will have to comply with the new legislation by 29th April this year, while stores smaller than this will be given an additional two years before they must comply.

The guidance also confirms that the restrictions in Scotland will be more severe than in the rest of the UK. Scottish stores will only be able to have an area of 1,000sq cm on display during a sale compared with 1.5sq m in England.

It will also be illegal to display the prices of tobacco and smoking-related, except in the formats set out in the new legislation

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation has warned of concerns over longer transaction times, problems with price displays and the cost of new equipment, and chief executive John Drummond, said: “The Scottish Grocers’ Federation has been opposed to this ban from the outset – we believe it will make no difference to consumer habits or behaviour.

“The Scottish Government has continued to take the intransigent view that a display ban will affect consumer behaviour, particularly the behaviour of young people. The fact is, however, that there is not and never has been a robust evidence base for this view.

“The ban is a misplaced and disproportionate response to the problem of smoking in Scotland. Essentially, and as with much of the recent legislation on alcohol, the retailer is being made to deliver key aspects of the public health agenda.”