Independent retail bosses have called on the government to delay introducing the tobacco display ban for small shops from 2013 to 2015.

The National Federation of Newsagents issued the plea during a meeting with Health Minister Gillian Merron this week, arguing that the ban would hit small businesses more severely than supermarkets.

NFRN president Suleman Khonat said the meeting had been positive. "She advised us she had not appreciated that sales would shift from corner shops to supermarkets as a result of the display ban and she agreed to speak to counterparts in other countries where bans had been introduced," he said.

The ACS also met the minister this week but said that while talks were constructive both parties' positions remained unchanged. "We expressed our concern a ban would be costly and disruptive and are no more convinced now than we were at the start of the process that it will have any impact on levels of youth smoking," said public affairs director Shane Brennan.

The minister told the ACS that the government remained convinced a ban would discourage young people from smoking. The parties also discussed the regulations dealing with the details of how a ban would be enforced.