EU bureaucrats have been told to stay out of the debate on whether the display of tobacco products should be banned.

An EU Commission consultation on plans to introduce a tobacco display ban across the EU is due to end next week. However, the ACS has warned the debate is a matter for national governments, not Brussels.

In the UK, retailers are currently awaiting the government's decision on the proposed tobacco display ban with an announcement expected before Christmas. "We are fighting for UK local shops against EU meddling in the ban on tobacco displays," said ACS chief executive James Lowman. "We remain hopeful that UK ministers will hold to their pre-election statements and reverse the ban. If this happens it must not be undermined by EU bureaucrats."

The European consultation, Amendment to the Tobacco Product Directive, would force all EU countries to adopt a tobacco display ban.