United Kingdom - make it illegal for adults to buy tobacco for minors..

June 26, 2009 - A suirvey by the Tobacco Retailers Alliance (TRA), which represents 26,000 UK independent retailers, demonstrates the pressing need to outlaw the proxy purchasing of tobacco and address the real routes of supply to under-18s.

Comments from Action on Smoking & Health (ASH) United KIngdom: As for proxy purchasing - ie adults buying tobacco for young people - it is true that it in not illegal in the UK. It has been suggested - mainly by the pro-tobacco lobby - that it should become illegal. However, we are not convinced that it is necessary to change the law. There is no clear evidence that it would be effective, and in practice would be very difficult to enforce. (As you know, if laws cannot be rigorously enforced, there is little point having them.) Overall, we feel this is a distraction from the main issue, ie stopping the marketing of tobacco products to young people for which there is a much stronger evidence base.

References: 60% of stores see adults buy for kids, Gaelle Walker, Convenience Store,thegrocer.co.uk, 6/24/2009; Stop tobacco proxy purchasing, Dave Visick, Convenience Store, thegrocer.co.uk, 2/19/2009.