Kieran McCarthy MLA said: “Let’s face it, smoking is and has been one of the biggest drains on our health service.
“Our health service is under massive pressure due to cuts at Westminster and we need to take creative and innovative measures to mitigate the effects of these cuts.
“Prevention is a crucial to helping deliver the best results in health and to ensure the best value for money possible. The smoking ban has had a profoundly positive impact for many people and it has demonstrated how we can be radical and deliver positive results for people here. We need to continue to be radical and banning tobacco vending machines and stopping the display of cigarettes are a key part of delivering improved health outcomes.”