A report by anti-tobacco lobby group ASH has incensed retail trade associations, by claiming they overstated the costs of complying with the tobacco display ban.

The report, The Smoke Filled Room: How Big Tobacco Influences Health Policy in the UK, accuses the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) of inflating the estimated cost of compliance to “motivate fear” among retailers.

The report says: “In 2008 the ACS stated that it would cost retailers a minimum of £1,850 and a maximum of £5,000. However, by the time the ACS submitted its joint response with the SGF, it had inflated this cost to more than £10,000.”

ACS public affairs director Shane Brennan commented: “ASH has selectively quoted from our evidence to the England consultation, and SGF’s to the Scottish consultation.

“SGF was referring to an explicit ‘under the counter’ solution, while we costed retrofit solutions to existing displays.

“There is no inconsistency and, of course, neither of these imposed burdens is justified.”