Businesses and consumers in Hampshire are being advised by Hampshire County Council Trading Standards of important changes to tobacco sales legislation that have now come into force.
It is currently illegal to sell tobacco products to under 18s and as of 1st October this ban was extended to include e-cigarettes, refills for e-cigarettes and other nicotine products. Additional changes also mean that those who buy tobacco, e-cigarettes and other nicotine products on behalf of those aged under 18 may also commit a criminal offence.
Councillor Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, welcomed the legislation changes. He said: “These changes will be an additional tool in the fight to reduce the take up of smoking by children in Hampshire. We are currently encouraging Hampshire’s 200,000 smokers to sign up for Stoptober, which also started on 1st October.
Quitting smoking can be a difficult process, but evidence shows that if a smoker can go 28 days without a cigarette, they are five times more likely to stay permanently smoke-free. Our aim is to offer stop smoking support through Quit4life to around 8000 smokers this year.”
Businesses caught selling e-cigarettes, refills for e-cigarettes or other nicotine products to under 18s face legal proceedings and fines of up to £2,500.
Adults who buy cigarettes, tobacco products, cigarette papers, e-cigarettes and other nicotine products for under 18s can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice by Trading Standards or face legal proceedings in the criminal courts.
These changes will be enforced by Hampshire Trading Standards, who are already responsible for the enforcement of other age restricted sales within in the county. Changes in the sale of tobacco legislation are part of a series of changes being made by the Government to try to reduce levels of smoking within the UK, particularly the impact on children.