The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed the government’s decision to withdraw plans to fine shop staff £80 for selling tobacco to under 18s - another measure proposed to be added to the Penalty Notice Disorder (PND). The on-the-spot-fine was due to come into force on 26 January, despite no communication or consultation with the retail trade. When the proposal was first muted last month ACS

chief executive James Lowman described it as "tantamount to introducing a penalty by stealth".

The association wrote to ministers, asking for "a sensible delay" in order to make sure all retailers and staff were aware of the change.

Lowman added: "We do not condone irresponsible retailers. But we have to understand the implications before they are widely used."

The proposal will now be part of the wider PND consultation.