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Source: Scotsman

Nov 4, 2007 -- The supermarket chain says it wants to enhance its healthy credentials by bringing its 78 stores in Scotland into line with elsewhere in the UK, where they have never sold tobacco.

It is part of a wider drive by Lidl to position itself as a retailer with a strong health message. Last month it ran a healthy eating campaign which included big discounts on fresh produce.

A Lidl spokesman said: "We launched a campaign to encourage a healthier lifestyle in Scotland as the child obesity rates are extremely high."

Maureen Moore, chief executive of ASH Scotland, welcomed Lidl's decision. "Obviously smoking is one of the biggest killers in Scotland, so Lidl should be congratulated on this move," she said.

"It would be great if other supermarkets, as well as focusing on healthy eating, considered the impact that cigarettes had on people's health and stopped selling them.

"But I am not convinced that we will see that happen."

Fiona Moriarty, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: "Retailers take their responsibilities on age restricted products such as cigarettes very seriously." But she refused to be drawn on whether other large retailers were planning to stop selling cigarettes at their stores.

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