October 12 is also a crucial day for our Stop Proxy Purchasing Tobacco campaign, thanks to an amendment set to be tabled by Conservative Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

The Tories agree that making it illegal for an adult to purchase tobacco on behalf of a child would be the most effective way of cutting youth smoking rates. And such a move would finally close the loophole that allows adults to purchase tobacco for kids while at the same time the authorities impose strict penalties on retailers who make an underage sale by mistake.

However, the amendment will be successful only if a significant number of Labour MPs vote against the party line, so it's vital that you contact your local MP, if you haven't done so already, to tell him or her about the impact that proxy purchasing has on your store.

Earlier this month, Scotland's Health and Sports Committee recommended that a ban on proxy purchasing be added to the Tobacco and Primary Services (Scotland) Bill. Let's hope that their English counterparts in government have taken note.