Shopkeepers are set to face a barrage of abuse and intimidation when the legal age for buying cigarettes goes up to 18 on October 1, a Birmingham MP has warned.

The change in the law was introduced by the Government in a bid to cut down on smoking by young people.

But Lynne Jones (Lab Selly Oak) said there had been very little publicity and little support for retailers.

They could face an angry backlash from 16 and 17-year-olds who were turned away when they tried to buy tobacco, she said.

And smokers above the new legal age limit might also be unable to buy cigarettes unless they could produce ID proving they were 18.

The current age limit for smoking is 16. Dr Jones said she backed the change, but she was worried by the lack of support for shopkeepers.

She said: "Preventing the underage sales of tobacco has to be a priority. The increase in the age is likely to reduce the chances of young people being able to buy tobacco in the long term.

"However, the transition has to be managed, and key to that is awareness in the community that the law has changed. Refusing age restricted sales is already a major reason for retailers facing abuse, intimidation and violence."