SAINSBURY'S is to stop selling tobacco in six more supermarkets, including three in the west of Scotland.

The move, which takes effect from today, is in response to a Scottish Government levy.

The company will stop the sale of tobacco products in stores in Drumchapel, Hamilton and Saltcoats as well as its Garthdee store in Aberdeen, Leven in Fife, and Livingston.

The initiative is an extension of a trial that was launched in May at three supermarkets and one convenience store.

Sainsbury's took the action after a new health levy introduced by the Scottish Government in April.

The new business rates apply to large retailers who sell tobacco and alcohol and goes towards tackling problems linked to these products.

A spokesperson for Sainsbury's said: "The impact of the levy, introduced by the Scottish Government, has led us to undertake a review of the sale of tobacco in our Scottish stores."

The trial had been extended in order for the business to learn more about the effects of removing tobacco from supermarkets in Scotland and gather customer feedback.

There is no end date set for the trial.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "The public health supplement was introduced in recognition of Scotland's well-documented health and social problems associated with alcohol and tobacco use.

"This Government is already taking action to reduce alcohol and tobacco-related harm through legislation to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol and banning tobacco displays.

"The public health supplement will contribute towards the preventative spend measures that are being taken forward jointly with the Scottish Government, local authorities, the NHS and the third sector."