Retailer Steve Denham is ramping up his crusade to stamp out cigarette sales to under-18s with a series of challenges to the industry.

Steve, of Cherilyn Stores in West Chiltington, West Sussex, believes stores will always be the target of government legislation to curb youth smoking as long as they continue to fail test purchases, and says the industry must do more to prevent shop staff making illegal sales.

In letters to tobacco manufacturers, trade associations, symbol groups and multiple retailers, Steve has called for the universal adoption of an extended No ID No Sale scheme to include a step-by-step due diligence procedure and a national staff training programme with testing and certification.

He has also written to health minister Gillian Merron and invited her to ask searching questions of trade association representatives at scheduled meetings to discuss the proposed tobacco display ban.

"Could I suggest that you ask the retail trade bodies how many of the retailers they represent sell age-restricted products to under-18s, and what are they doing to bring underage transactions to an end?" he asks.

As C-Store went to press, Steve had received only one response to his letters. A spokesman for tobacco supplier JTI said: "No ID No Sale packs are readily available from sales representatives and www.noidnosale.co.uk. With the level of investment which we and others put into No ID No Sale and websites such as www.tobaccoretailing.com, I do not believe that we would be looking to create a new programme of activity."

Follow Steve's campaign at http://cherilynstores.blogspot.com

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