Plans to make the proxy purchasing of tobacco products illegal were debated in Parliament on Tuesday.

It follows an amendment which has been tabled to the Government’s Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill.

Under current legislation, it is not an offence for a person to buy tobacco products on behalf of a minor.

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) welcomed the move.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “ACS strongly supports this amendment that puts right a longstanding unfairness in underage sales law. It cannot be right that a retailer who makes an honest mistake, or has a bad day, faces prosecution and a criminal record, but an adult that sets out to buy tobacco to sell to a child faces no sanction.

“This amendment will send a clear signal that preventing underage sales is a challenge for the whole community and we commend the Labour Health team for promoting it.”

The amendment, tabled by Baroness Smith Of Basildon, Lord Rosser, The Lord Bishop Of Carlisle and Baroness Finlay Of Llandaff, calls for proxy purchasing on behalf of a minor to become an offence with fines for those found guilty of it.