Daughter calls for tobacco rules - after death of mum in house fire caused by illegal cigarette

Julie Grant who has started a petition to get retailers to apply for a tobacco licence to sell the products.
Julie Grant who has started a petition to get retailers to apply for a tobacco licence to sell the products.

The daughter of a 71-year-old woman who died in a housefire started by an illegal cigarette says she wants retailers selling tobacco products to be licenced.

June Buffham, died at her home in Spalding, in April 2012.

What was left of June Buffham's chair following the blaze caused by an illegal cigarette. Photo supplied

What was left of June Buffham's chair following the blaze caused by an illegal cigarette. Photo supplied

Daughter Julie Grant, now living in Swineshead, said: “The cause of the fire was an illicit cigarette which Mum had dropped in the chair in which she was sitting. She was disabled and unable to get out of the chair and the fire engulfed her. That, sadly, is the harsh true reality of the situation.”

Since the incident Mrs Grant has been working with Lincolnshire Trading Standards to raise awareness of the dangers of illegal cigarettes.

She has now started a petition in a bid to see retailers who want to sell tobacco products licensed in a similar way to alcohol legislation.

“I’m just pushing it and pushing it,” said Mrs Grant.

I said from day one something good needs to come from my Mum’s death

Daughter Julie Grant

“I said from day one something good needs to come from my Mum’s death.”

She added: “I feel that, as with alcohol, there should be some legislation in place where a retailer wanting to sell tobacco products of any kind needs to apply for a licence to do so.

“I realise that this will not stop the sale of illicit goods completely, but it may act as a deterrent to those who think they are above the law.”

Mrs Grant has also appeared in documentary programmes, including Fake Britain with Matt Allwright.

June Buffham with husband Peter

June Buffham with husband Peter

She said: “Sadly they are still being sold. There have been raids all over the UK by Trading Standards and the police where large amounts of illicit/illegal goods have been found.”

In 2015 Mrs Grant earned a Hero Award from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute after campaigning against unlawful tobacco

Mrs Grant would like Lincolnshire County Council to share her campaign in other languages.

She is also looking to organise awareness events.

The petition needs 10,000 signatures for a response from Government and 100,000 for the topic to be discussed in Parliament.

To support the campaign visit https://petition.parlia
ment.uk/petitions/187881