Retailers in Northern Ireland have vowed to ensure that common sense prevails over the government's proposals for a ban on the display of tobacco products.

Raymond Farrell, Northern Ireland president of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, said: "Our members are local newsagents and convenience stores who support legislation that will have a positive impact to the health of the customers they serve.

"However, we are concerned that a display ban will do little more than encourage counterfeit tobacco trading and reduce customers' confidence.

"It will also cost small family-run businesses thousands of pounds to refurbish their stores and train staff, and yet there is no satisfactory connection made between tobacco display and smoking.

"Young people smoke due to pressure from their peers or because their family smoke - not because of tobacco displays."

The Federation would work to ensure a common- sense solution, he added.