We undertake a programme to ensure responsible tobacco and e-cigarette sales among local retailers. This is in addition to regular visits by our environmental health team to tobacco retailers across our area.
All too often we see children start smoking below the legal age of 18. It is vital we communicate to children the health dangers of smoking and maximise efforts to ensure they cannot purchase products in the first instance.
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
break open a packet of cigarettes and sell them individually. If you do you can be fined up to £1,000
Retailers must display a warning notice at the point of sale stating it is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18. Failure to have this notice on display can result in a fine of up to £1,000.
We provide these notices free of charge to retailers in an effort to assist them comply with the law.
If you know of a retailer selling cigarettes to young children, we urge you to come forward in confidence and report it, so we can investigate concerns.
What must retailers do?
They must take all reasonable steps to ensure that any person buying cigarettes is 18 years of age or over.
Examples of steps to 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
ask for identification if you are unsure
ensure you have a warning notice on clear display at the point of sale
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: email@example.com