Tobacco age limit rises to 18

YOUNG smokers will have to change their habits from Monday as the age limit on buying tobacco rises from 16 to 18. The law will mean traders could face fines of up to £2500 if they sell tobacco products to anyone under the new legal age. The change is d

YOUNG smokers will have to change their habits from Monday as the age limit on buying tobacco rises from 16 to 18.

The law will mean traders could face fines of up to £2500 if they sell tobacco products to anyone under the new legal age.

The change is designed to cut the amount of teenagers lighting up as, according to the NHS, the younger someone starts smoking, the more likely they are to be killed by their addiction.

The East and North Herts Primary Care Trust is urging youngsters not to smoke by showing them that if a 20-a-day smoker quit, after one year they could afford a two-week all-inclusive holiday in Tenerife, including new holiday clothes or a Premier League season ticket.


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The PCT's message to teenagers is focused on money saving and healthy looking skin and teeth.

Last year, the PCT said 44 young people quit smoking by using NHS stop smoking services in Herts.

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Bishop's Stortford Insp Andy Piper said officers will police the new age limit in the same way as they did when it stood at 16. He also said they are continuing to police the smoking ban in public places.

The Smoke Free Herts group is supporting the new law by sending out the message to schools and colleges in the county, while Herts Trading Standards is helping traders avoid hefty fines by asking them to only accept three types of identity: a passport, a photo driving licence or a proof of age card with a PASS hologram. The Think 21 alcohol policy may also be used as a precaution.

The county council's executive member for community safety and culture, Cllr Keith Emsall, said: "Our advice to retailers is to adopt a cautious approach to sales. If they are in any doubt, ask for ID, as with under-age alcohol sales, the cost of getting caught is not worth the risk.

"There is information available for retailers to help them comply with the new laws and our officers are also ready to give any further advice that is needed."

The Department of Health has information on the changes for retailers selling tobacco products and has required signage from www.tobaccoagechange.co.uk or calling Trading Standards on 01727 813849.

Youngsters wanting to know more about the new law can visit www.tobacco18.co.uk and anyone wanting to kick the habit can call Hertfordshire Stop Smoking Service on 0800 389 3998 or the

Harlow Stop Smoking Service 01279 827866.

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