LCCC Residents' Magazine : Summer 2024

It is illegal to sell vapes to under 18s

Some may say vaping has ‘become a trend’ as e-cigarettes are very popular.

With the wide range of flavours available, we are unfortunately seeing a new generation of young people who have never smoked becoming addicted to nicotine.  

A total of 9% of local 11-16 year olds now vape, compared to 6% in 2019. Research shows that 24% of Year 12 pupils are now vaping. 

These are stark numbers, as it is ILLEGAL to sell vapes to anyone under the age of 18. There are potentially significant consequences for both the retailers and the individual who sold the vapes from the premises. 

To both safeguard our young people and ensure the law is followed in our area, we conduct regular test purchasing in local retailers. We want to spot-check compliance with the age restrictions.  

For the protection of everyone, we would encourage all vape retailers to consider the following:

  • introduce a ‘No ID, No Sale’ or ‘Challenge 21/25’ and make sure staff follow it
  • do regular staff training to assess staff knowledge on their responsibilities
  • consider till prompts to ensure staff follow their requirement to question the age of young people
  • keep records of occasions when staff have refused sales, often referred to as a refusal register

Our Environmental Health Team/Tobacco Control Office can supply sample registers to retailers on request.  We can be emailed at 

Further information

View the smoking and vaping regulations in NI on this link

View the NHS vaping myths and facts on this link