Youth access



Regulation Description
United Kingdom
Children and Families Act 2014
(External Web Page)
This Act enables the Government to implement regulations to prohibit the purchasing of tobacco by adults for children (proxy purchasing); and to prohibit the sale of nicotine products (electronic cigarettes) to persons under the age of 18.
The Protection from Tobacco (Sales from Vending Machines (England) Regulations 2010
(External Web Page)
Sales of tobacco from vending machines will be prohibited from 1 October 2011.
The Children and Young Persons (Sale of Tobacco etc.) Order 2007 In force legislation England and Wales. From 1 October 2007 the minimum age for the purchase of tobacco was raised from 16 to 18.

The Act updates and amends the Children and Young Persons (Protection from Tobacco) Act 1991.

Children and Young Persons (Protection from Tobacco) Act 1991
(External Web Page)
In force legislation England, Wales and Scotland only.The Act amended and strengthened the existing Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and the Children and Young Persons Act (Scotland) 1937 regarding the sale of tobacco to minors.

This Act increased the penalties for the sale of tobacco to persons under the age of 16, prohibited the sale of unpackaged cigarettes and made provision for local authorities to undertake enforcement action relating to offences connected to the sale of tobacco.

The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 (Variation of Age Limit for Sale of Tobacco etc. and Consequential Modifications) Order 2007
(External Web Page)
Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010
(External Web Page)
The Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010 (Ancillary Provisions) Order 2010 (regs for the above)
(External Web Page)

In force legislation Scotland only.
increase in age of sale to 18.Point of sale display ban, created retail register, gave enforcement officers power to issue FPNs for tobacco sales violations, criminalised proxy purchase and underage purchase
European Union
Recommendation on prevention of smoking and initiatives to improve tobacco control
EU COM(2002) 303 final (Proposal)
(External pdf)
This council recommendation seeks to tighten tobacco control measures with particular emphasis on youth access to tobacco.Amongst the proposals:

  • adult only access to cigarette machines
  • removal of tobacco products from display
  • young people to prove their age prior to purchase
  • banning sales of packets of 10

These recommendations do not call for primary legislation but propose changes to existing legislation such as directives on product regulation and labelling.

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