New regulations will help protect children from smoking

Tuesday 29 September 2015

A raft of new regulations to protect the health of young people and curb youth smoking will enter into force in England and Wales on 1 October 2015. In addition to legislation prohibiting smoking in cars when children are present, it will also be illegal for adults to buy tobacco on behalf of young people – a practice known as proxy purchasing. The proxy purchasing rule will also apply to electronic cigarettes. A separate regulation will make it illegal for young people under the age of 18 to buy e-cigarettes. [1]

Research commissioned by ASH reveals that the law prohibiting ban on smoking in cars with children younger than 18 years of age is supported by 85% of adults in England and is also supported by three quarters (74%) of smokers. [2]

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of health charity ASH said:

“Making it illegal to smoke in cars with children is supported by the vast majority of adults, including smokers, who recognise the harm caused by secondhand smoke. But despite the level of public support some adults still smoke in front of children. We hope the legislation will make them realise they should stop not just in their cars but also in their homes.”

“We also welcome the law prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to children which will reinforce the message that these products are intended for adult smokers who want to cut down or quit smoking.”

The new regulations [3] follow the legislation prohibiting the display of tobacco products at the point of sale which was fully implemented in April this year. Next year will see the introduction of standardised (plain) tobacco packaging and implementation of the revised EU Tobacco Products Directive which will require large pictorial health warnings on both the front and back of cigarette packs. [4]


Notes and Links:

[1] For an overview of the regulations see the ASH/CTSI briefing: Changes to tobacco regulations 2015/16

[2] ASH YouGov Smokefree GB Survey 2015. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 10017 adults in England. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th February and 12th March 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

[3] Regulations in full:
The Smoke-free (Private Vehicles) Regulations 2015
The Proxy Purchasing of Tobacco, Nicotine Products etc. (Fixed Penalty Amount) Regulations 2015
The Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015

[4] – The Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 will enter in force on 20 May 2016 and will apply to the whole of the UK.
– EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD)
The revised TPD:
• prohibits cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco with characterising flavours,
• requires the tobacco industry to submit detailed reports to the Member States on the ingredients used in tobacco products, in particular cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco,
• requires that health warnings appear on packages of tobacco and related products. Combined (picture and text) health warnings must cover 65% of the front and back of cigarette and roll-your-own tobacco packages,
• sets minimum dimensions for warnings and eliminates small packages for certain tobacco products,
• bans all promotional and misleading elements on tobacco products,
• enables Member States to introduce standardised tobacco packaging,
• introduces EU-wide tracking and tracing to combat illicit trade of tobacco products,
• allows Member States to prohibit internet sales of tobacco and related products,
• sets out safety and quality requirements for consumer electronic cigarettes,
• obliges manufacturers to notify novel tobacco products before placing them on the EU market