Posters, pamphlets and postcards are being delivered to thousands of retailers as part of the Tobacco Retailers Alliance’s (TRA) ‘Save Our Shops’ campaign.
Shoppers will be able to register their opposition to the plans with their local MPs, via postcards available in stores.
Retailers will also be provided with support and advice on how to run their own campaigns against the proposals.
TRA national spokesman Ken Patel said: “Being forced to hide tobacco out of sight will be the last straw for many retailers. Small shops rely on tobacco sales and associated footfall, so anything that restricts their ability to sell it is a threat to the whole business.”
The TRA, a coalition of 20,000 independent retailers, is funded by the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association.
It is calling for the Prime Minister to support other ways of cutting youth smoking, such as tackling the illicit trade and enforcing a negative licensing scheme. It also wants to make proxy purchasing illegal.
Retailers can join the TRA free of charge. To receive a campaign pack call on 0800 008282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.