The campaign to make the proxy purchasing of tobacco a criminal offence has been given a boost by Scotland's Health and Sports Committee, after it recommended that measures to criminalise adults who supply tobacco to children be added to the Tobacco and Primary Services (Scotland) Bill.

The proposal has been welcomed by retailers and trade associations on either side of the border. John Drummond, chief executive of the Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF), said: "Moves to criminalise proxy purchasing are welcome. Proxy purchasing tobacco for young people is immoral and should be illegal."

However, he added that the penalties must also be extended to teenagers who attempted to purchase tobacco underage.

"It is wrong for an under-18 to attempt to deceive a retailer and obtain a product that they are not old enough to consume. SGF believes it should be illegal and would encourage the Scottish government to have parity with alcohol on this issue," he added.

The Association of Convenience Stores has now upped its campaign for similar provisions to be included in the Health Bill currently passing through Westminster.