Association of Convenience Stores welcomes tobacco proxy sales breakthrough

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ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores), which represents over 33,500 local shops across the UK, has strongly welcomed plans to make it illegal to buy tobacco for a person under the age of 18.

This proposed change in the law is a breakthrough for a long running campaign by ACS to stamp out a loophole that undermines the fight to prevent young people from buying tobacco.

ACS chief executive, James Lowman, said: “We have long argued that it is ludicrous that an adult can walk into a shop buy tobacco, and then walk round the corner and sell it on to a child without breaking the law. Ninety five per cent of young people that regularly smoke obtain tobacco in this way. This change in the law is an important step forward in reducing the exposure of young people to tobacco.

“We will now work with Government, police and trading standards to establish ways to make this change in the law enforceable and above all to challenge those unscrupulous adults that are willing to sell tobacco to children in this way.

Lowman also commented in plans to introduce an over-18 sales restriction on e-cigarettes, he said: “We support proposals to make it illegal for retailers to sell e-cigarettes to under 18s. This would bring the law into line with the commonly accepted policy in the industry.”

ACS has been briefing MPs and members of the House of the Lords in favour of a ban on proxy sales amendment to the Children and Families Bill over the past three months and has been calling for the ban to be introduced in response to a series of tobacco control policy reviews in the last 10 years.