The publication of regulations to make proxy purchasing of tobacco and nicotine products an offence has been welcomed by the NFRN.

The Federation’s 16,000 independent retail members have also hailed a ban on the sale of nicotine products to those aged under 18.

National president Martyn Brown said: “It is immensely frustrating for responsible retailers to refuse to sell tobacco to someone they believe to be under 18 only for an adult to come in and purchase the product on the youngster’s behalf.

“That’s why we have campaigned long and hard for proxy purchasing to be made illegal and we are delighted that regulations making it an offence for an adult to purchase tobacco or cigarette papers on behalf of someone under 18 have now been published.

“Equally pleasing is the fact that it will also be an offence for an adult to purchase relevant nicotine products on behalf of a minor.”

NFRN Chief Executive Paul Baxter added: “The NFRN has always encouraged members not to sell e-cigarettes to those under 18 so the fact that this will now become an offence is another great step forward.

“Our hope now is that the government ensures that these regulations are passed speedily through parliament.”