The Scottish Beer and Pub Association (SBPA) has complained of unclear guidance from the Scottish Government over the ban of pub cigarette vending machines due in October 2011. The organisation said the consultation “failed to address any of the issues of practicality” around the proposed ban. Government estimates put the number of Scotland’s cigarette vending machines at around 6,500. Patrick Browne, the chief executive of SBPA, said: “In discussions with Scottish Government officials, SBPA has been told that the Scottish Government’s intention is that cigarette vending machines will only be banned where they are accessible to the public and automatic. “This has implied that operators would still be able to operate vending machines as long as they were resited to areas ‘behind the bar’ where staff could control them.” Browne said that the Scottish Government has not clarified the issue despite repeated requests and the matter is causing “grave concern” amongst SBPA members. The ban on cigarette vending machines will come into effect in England and Wales on 1 October 2011.