The trade association for the tobacco industry thinks England, where the ban on smoking in public places comes into force in 10 days time, will follow the same pattern as Ireland and Scotland where the predicted “meltdown” in tobacco sales has not materialised.
Colin Ogden, director of the TMA said: “It is clear that smokers continue to choose to smoke – they adapt to the new rules and after an initial dip in consumption, sales volumes recover.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Grocers Federation said anecdotal evidence from the market had not revealed any change to the amount of tobacco people were buying from independent stores.
He said: “Experience has been that the smoking ban has not caused a drop in sales.”
However, a survey of smokers in Ireland by the European Journal of Public Health found that one in five were smoking less in the home since the smoking ban was introduced.
Smoking bans in public places were brought in Republic of Ireland in 2004, Scotland in 2006 and Wales and Northern Ireland in April this year.