Smoking age limit raised to 18

The Government is launching a campaign to publicise the change of legal age to buy cigarettes and tobacco products from 16 to 18. Retailers will risk prosecution and a fine of up to £2,500 if they sell tobacco to under-18s after the legislation comes into force in October.

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman says: “The Government’s campaign must ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them when the law changes.”

A website at www.tobaccoagechange.co.uk outlining the campaign will go live from Monday. Changing the legal age comes after the introduction of the smoke-free legislation in England earlier this month, and is aimed at reducing smoking rates among young people.

Minister for public health Dawn Primarolo says: “Raising the minimum age at which teenagers can be sold tobacco products will reduce the availability of cigarettes, and could therefore discourage young people from taking up smoking in the first place.”

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