Shops that sell cigarettes to minors face bans of up to a month

New government legislation will mean retailers could lose their tobacco licence for varying periods if they are found to have sold cigarettes to children

The aim is to reduce tobacco smoking rates, particularly among the 5 per cent of school-age children who smoke. Picture: Getty

Shops that sell cigarettes to children will be automatically banned from selling them for up to a month, under new government legislation.

This power is already available to judges who are dealing with breaches of tobacco control legislation, but the new proposals will make it mandatory for them to impose suspension.

Retailers who are convicted of minor breaches of the tobacco legislation, such as the failure to display warning signs, will have their tobacco retail ...