A Top Judge has upheld a Government ban to remove cigarette vending machines from pubs, clubs and restaurants in Britain.
The measure, drawn up by the Department of Health (DoH) to combat under-age smoking, will come into force in October, the Daily Mail reports.
Tobacco industry chiefs are of the opinion that such a move would 'abruptly and entirely eliminate' the vending industry, costing at least 550 jobs.
Wolverhampton-based Sinclair Collis Ltd, which owns about 20,000 machines, had argued in the Appeal Court that the ban would encourage illicit tobacco trade and amount to a violation of its human rights and European free trade rules.
Speaking about the health risks posed by tobacco, the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, one of the judges who favoured a ban on cigarette vending machines, however said that "virtually any measure which a government takes to restrict the availability of tobacco products, especially to young people, is almost self-evidently one with which no court should interfere."
The judge also insisted that the ban was 'lawful' and 'proportionate'.