Age of sale for nicotine inhaling products: consultation on proposed regulations to be made under the Children and Families Act 2014

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Department of Health.
Department of Health
Date of publication
1 December 2014
Substance Misuse, Children and Young People
Social welfare
Material type

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The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on draft regulations to introduce a minimum age of sale of 18 years for nicotine inhaling products, such as electronic cigarettes (also known as e-cigarettes) and related parts of such devices. The aims of the proposed regulations would be to:

  • Limit the sale of nicotine inhaling products such as e-cigarettes to adults only, with certain limited exceptions for medicinal products.
  • Protect children from the risk of nicotine addiction and the impact that nicotine can have on the developing adolescent brain.
  • Protect children and young people from any potential ‘gateway’ effect into smoking tobacco that might come from the use of nicotine inhaling products.

The proposed regulations would:

  • Make it an offence to sell nicotine inhaling products (such as e-cigarettes) and related products to anyone under the age of 18 years.
  • Extend the tobacco ‘proxy purchasing’ offence in the Act to also cover e-cigarettes, so it would also be an offence for an adult to buy a nicotine inhaling products on behalf of a person under 18 years.
  • Exempt the sale of any nicotine inhaling product that is licensed as a medicine, where it has been prescribed to the child or where the medicine is indicated for use by children.

The consultation runs 17 December 2014 to 28 January 2015.

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