CIGARETTE sales in Scotland have risen five per cent - despite the smoking ban.
Latest figures show Scots are buying 61,000 More packets of Cigarettes each week than before the ban was introduced in March.
It is a blow to health experts who pRedicted the ban would lead to a drop in cigarette sales.
The figures from the Scottish Grocers Federation show Scots now spend ?6.6million every week on 1.3 million packets of Cigarettes.
This is ?300,000 More a week than before the ban in public places.
A rise in the number of people smoking at home is said to be behind the increased ciggie sales.
It echoes what happened in other countries with smoking bans, such as Spain and Ireland.
Federation chief executive John Drummond said: "Sales of Cigarettes make up 20 per cent of business at convenience stores.
"Many of our members were concerned that the ban would see a drop in cigarette sales. But that certainly hasn't happened."
Phil Hanlon, professor of public health at Glasgow University, described the rise as "worrying". He said: "Evidence supports the fact smoking at home damages the health of others in the home."
Chris Ogden of the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association said the figures highlighted how the ban had failed to make people quit.
He said: "Like in Ireland, Scottish smokers have adjusted to the ban. It's a matter of personal choice."
The Scottish Licensed Trade Association said cigarette machine sales in pubs and clubs were the same as before the ban.
Association chief executive Paul Waterson said: "These figures confirm what we pRedicted all along. It is clear the ban has not deliveRed what they said it would."