Tobacco Sales

The Council undertakes a programme to ensure responsible tobacco sales among local retailers. 

All too often we see children start smoking below the legal age of 18, and it is vital that we not only communicate to children the health dangers of smoking, but also that we maximise efforts to ensure that they cannot purchase cigarettes in the first instance.

Shocking statistics from Action on Smoking and Health have revealed that over 450 children under the age of 18 start smoking every day in the UK. 

Environmental Health Officers regularly visit tobacco retailers throughout the City to ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities and the law in order to avoid fines which may be imposed if they do not comply.

What does the Law Say?

Under The Children and Young Persons (Protection from Tobacco) (Northern Ireland) Order 1991:

  • It is illegal to sell cigarettes or any other tobacco product to anyone under 18 years of age– even if they are for someone else
  • If you do you can be fined up to £2,500
  • If anyone who knows of a retailer who is selling cigarettes to young children, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council would urge you to come forward in confidence and report it, so that Council officers can investigate concerns.
  • It is illegal to break open a packet of cigarettes and sell them individually
  • If you do you can be fined up to £1,000
  • You must have on display a warning notice stating that it is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 
  • The notice should be displayed at the point of sale at a position where it can be clearly seen.

Failure to have this notice on display can result in a fine of up to £1,000

The Council’s Environmental Health Service is providing these notices free of charge to retailers in an effort to assist them comply with the law.

What do I need to do?

You must take all reasonable steps to ensure that any person buying cigarettes is 18 years of age or over.

Examples of steps that you could take are:

  • Do not sell cigarettes to persons in school uniform
  • Introduce a policy not to sell cigarettes to any person under 18 years of age
  • If you are unsure of a persons age ask for identification
  • Ensure that you have a warning notice on display at the point of sale positioned so that it can be clearly seen by your customers.
  • Staff must be trained on any policy or procedures that are in place.

Ultimately the message to retailers is to remember NO ID, NO SALE

For further information or to obtain a free age warning notice, please contact the Environmental Health Service on 028 9244 7300 or email: