A tobacco display ban would cost every c-store £5,000 to implement, according to the latest evidence submitted to the Department of Health.

A cost analysis of a ban by the Association of Convenience Stores has been carried out ahead of a DoH consultation being launched later this month into tobacco control and ways to reduce cancer.

Drawing on figures from Canada, where similar bans are already in place, the ACS claimed each store in the UK faced a minimum bill of £5,000 to take out gantries and put in counters that keep cigarettes hidden under the counter.

Any new legislation could also include requirements regarding how and where backroom stock must be kept as well as added security, which could push costs up further.

"What we want the government to realise is that if it wants a ban on cigarette display it needs to consider the consequences and costs for small businesses," said ACS chief executive James Lowman.

The ACS has also uncovered further evidence from Canada that banning the display of tobacco may have little effect on reducing smoking. In the Canadian state of Saskatchewan smoking rates among teenagers went up after a display ban was enacted in 2005.

According to Imperial Tobacco, a display ban in Iceland failed to cut smoking rates and led to three in 10 small stores being forced to close within a year of it being introduced.