New Age Restriction on E-cigarettes from 1st October 2015

On 1st October 2015 new legislation comes into effect which sees Suffolk County Council Trading Standards (SCC TS) enforcing the underage sales of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), inhaling devices and refill cartridges and substances. Also known as vaporisers or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are often, although not always, designed to look and feel like cigarettes. E-cigarettes are not cigarettes. The e-cigarette was developed as an alternative to traditional tobacco products.

What are e-cigarettes?

_85051581_electoniccigarette_gettyWhile a traditional cigarette is lit (for example by a lighter or a match) an e-cigarette is generally heated via the battery although products are emerging which have no electronic features and are charged with compressed air instead. While some initial e-cigarettes adopted the form and look of a traditional tobacco cigarette, as the market develops, there is an increasing range of shapes, sizes and colours of e-cigarettes and e-pipes available.

There are three main types of e-cigarettes or vaporisers:_85051757_e-cig_woman_getty

  • Disposable products (non-rechargeable)
  • An e-cigarette kit that is rechargeable with replaceable pre-filled cartridges
  • An e-cigarette that is rechargeable and has a tank or reservoir which has to be filled with liquid nicotine (e-liquid)

Most, but not all e-cigarettes contain nicotine. There has been a surge in the number of users of e-cigarettes in recent years and the change in the law is intended to protect children and to help children lead a healthy life.

So from 1st October 2015 it will be illegal for retailers to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under 18 years of age.  Adults caught flouting the law could be handed a fixed penalty notice or, if the case is taken to court, they could be fined up to £2,500.

It will also be an offence for an adult to buy or attempt to buy tobacco, cigarette papers or e-cigarettes on behalf of a person under 18 years of age. This is known as proxy purchasing and offenders could be fined £90.

Suffolk Trading Standards advice to all retailers of e-cigarettes is to be vigilant and responsible when selling e-cigarettes and e-liquid products. Retailers should apply the same checks they would apply to the sale of any other age restricted products to anyone who looks under 18.

Further details on age restricted products, preventing underage sales and reporting underage sales can be found on our website.

About suffolktradingstandards
Suffolk Trading Standards is working towards creating and fair and safe trading environment. By creating empowered consumers, that are armed with the knowledge to stop 'rogue traders'.

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