Campaigning retailer Steve Denham says he is disappointed with the tobacco supply chain's slow response to his suggestions for an industry-wide initiative to prevent sales of tobacco products to under-18s.

Steve, of Cherilyn Stores in West Chiltington, West Sussex, told C-Store: "Although there have been great strides to improve our collective act, 20-30% of stores still fail when tested by Trading Standards. This impacts on all tobacco retailers as government and Trading Standards point to these failures as a reason for more legislation.

"I am asking manufacturers, wholesalers and trade associations to join together with the No ID No Sale programme and add new elements including a standard national staff training programme with a test and certification process, and a step-by-step due diligence procedure."

He also suggests building an email database of tobacco retailers so they can be reminded of their obligations and informed about new rules.

However, seven weeks after launching the 'Calling Time on Underage Sales' campaign, and despite some initial interest, Steve has yet to receive a single offer of support for his plans.

"Everyone's been making noises, but no one's being positive," he said. "If the trade helps retailers to improve their performance, it's more likely to happen. The law is focused on the retailer, but manufacturers and wholesalers have a responsibility we expect more support from the supply chain."

The most positive response to his letters had come from Trading Standards, who were keen to talk about the project, Steve said.

"I believe this is a simple idea, and a major step towards showing we are doing all we can," he says. "If I'm on the wrong track, I would at least expect the supply chain representatives I've approached to tell me why."