A consultation to be launched by the Department of Health later this spring will look at ways to stop children smoking and one of the proposals includes banning shops from displaying cigarettes.
But ACS chief executive James Lowman said the government would need to take into account the costs involved before enforcing new regulations.
“We would expect the Government to present a clear case that these measures were necessary before placing yet another significant burden on thousands of retailers across the country,” he said.
The Department of Health said a child who starts smoking aged 15 is three times more likely to die of cancer from smoking than someone who starts in their late twenties.
Public health minister Dawn Primarolo said: “It’s vital we get across the message to children that smoking is bad. If that means stripping out vending machines or removing cigarettes from behind the counter, I’m willing to do that.”