We've long been urging retailers to protest about the tobacco display ban.

We've long been urging retailers to protest about the tobacco display ban. It might seem that it's been such a long time, in fact, that it's already a done deal, and we should move on to planning for a future without gantries.

But we are not at that stage. Although the Health Bill made it through the House of Lords more or less unscathed, our elected representatives have not yet had the chance to vote on the final detail of the proposal, but they probably will do in the next few weeks. So for those of you who are with us in contesting the ban, this summer might be our last stand.

If you haven't already got involved, we urge you to do so now. If you have already made your views known, we urge you to do it again. Write to your MP or, better still, invite him to your shop - if he's not in hiding after his last expenses claim.

I've written about this unfair, unjustifiable and just plain wrong piece of proposed legislation at length before, but let me re-state my case. There is no evidence that retail displays make people start smoking, or that hiding them would save lives. If there was evidence like that, then the government would be right to impose a ban, and it should pay for it as well. But no. They want the ban, but they want you to pay.

I don't believe any of us want children to smoke. The only people who do are smugglers, counterfeiters and their streetcorner salesman who want to turn their booty into cash as quickly as possible. So where is the law enforcement against these people?

I don't believe anyone becomes a smoker on the basis of a retail display. The largest visual element on any cigarette packet these days is the health warning, and even if you wanted to gaze at a tobacco gantry for long periods you won't see much because the retailer's head is in the way. Smoking is attractive to youngsters because grown-ups do it. So where are the education programmes for parents and youngsters, and the law to prevent adults passing cigarettes on to children?

But the government, after taking advice from police, local authorities and health campaigners, don't want to pass any new laws in these highly pertinent areas. They have admitted it's because it is too difficult. They want quick wins and soft targets, and that means you and your shop.

So don't make it easy for them. Make them regret ever tangling with you. The c-store industry is strong if it stands together and fights together, and Convenience Store is here to help you do that. Protest now. Rage against the ban.