Lidl is to stop selling cigarettes in its Scottish stores in a bid to enhance its healthy credentials.

From next week, tobacco will no longer be stocked in any of its 78 outlets north of the border, bringing the offer into line with the rest of the UK, where it has never stocked cigarettes.

The discounter said the move was inspired by the Scottish Executive's Healthy Living programme, launched this year to encourage Scots to lead healthier lifestyles.

It forms part of a wider drive by Lidl to position itself as a retailer with a strong health proposition. Last month the retailer ran a Healthy October campaign, which included big discounts on fresh produce."We launched a campaign to encourage a healthier lifestyle in Scotland as the child obesity rates are extremely high - double the UK average," said a spokeswoman.

The Germany-based retailer has also launched Linessa, a range of low-fat food that bears the tagline 'Vital & Active' and is being rolled out across the UK.