A London retailer is calling on Convenience Store readers to join a campaign to make it an offence to buy tobacco on behalf of under-18s.
Mahendra Jadeja of Jardins Newsagents in Winchmore Hill is a spokesman for the Tobacco Alliance's 'Responsible Retailers' campaign, which is collecting signatures for a petition to be delivered to Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
"Proxy purchase of alcohol is an offence and this is a good deterrent," Mahendra told C-Store. "I've noticed, though, that adults are more prepared to buy tobacco for youngsters - you even hear of parents buying it for their teenage children. This is not right and the government can prevent it."
He added: "We have asked it to close this loophole in the law, which it has not done, but at the same time it is strengthening sanctions against retailers who sell to those underage. This means the legal onus to uphold the law rests entirely on our shoulders, while the government does nothing to make adults who supply tobacco to children responsible for their actions."
The petition will ask the Prime Minister to support retailers and help them be responsible. To sign it, go to www.petitions.pm.gov.uk and enter 'proxy' in the search box.