A leading tobacco manufacturer has joined calls for a government campaign to highlight the impending increase in the legal age for buying tobacco.

The government confirmed this week that the legal age would rise from 16 to 18 in England and Wales from 1 October.

Gallaher, which manufactures brands including Silk Cut and Benson & Hedges, said it hoped the government planned to "educate consumers and retailers alike on this new law, to ensure a smooth transaction for all".

Its call echoes that of

Association of Convenience Stores' CEO James Lowman, who this week said: "It is

essential there is a well funded and effectively targeted campaign to explain the change in the law and ensure that local retailers and their staff are not faced with abuse and intimidation from young customers."