Health groups have called for a Victorian ban on cigarette vending machines and tobacco price boards at retail outlets.

Cigarette vending machines and tobacco price boards should be banned at retail outlets, Victorian health groups say.

Quit Victoria, Cancer Council Victoria, AMA Victoria and Heart Foundation Victoria also want an end to an exemption for point-of-sale displays for specialist tobacconists.

Quit Victoria executive director Fiona Sharkie said it was troubling that the tobacco industry was continuing to promote smoking as affordable for those on lower incomes by promoting value brands on price boards in lower socioeconomic areas.

“Although we have seen an accelerated decline in smoking rates amongst low-income Victorians in recent years, they still make up the largest proportion of smokers and therefore bear a disproportionate burden of smoking-caused death and disease,” she said.

“Big tobacco should not be able to further target these smokers by using price boards to promote their brands.”

Price boards are already banned in Queensland and the ACT, and the same thing should happen in Victoria, Heart Foundation Victoria chief executive Diana Heggie said.

The Australasian Association of Convenience Stores says tobacco products are already in plain packaging and out of sight, which it says is at the cost of retailers.

“Plain packaging has already resulted in significant customer frustration and this simply exacerbates the problem for no health gains,” chief executive Jeff Rogut said.