Law Line
0808 801 0 801

FREE 24 hr Legal Advice on rights and issues affecting 11 25 year olds including

  • Debt
  • Welfare
  • Renting/Housing
  • Employment
  • Mental Health
  • Family/Relationships

Public places

It is illegal to smoke in public places in Scotland, England and Wales.


You need to be 18 to buy tobacco (same situation in England and Wales).

  • It is illegal for shops and supermarkets to sell any tobacco products in Scotland to anyone under the age of 18.
  • It is illegal for anyone under 18 to buy or attempt to buy any tobacco products. This is to try and reduce the number of people exposed to smoking related diseases and to bring the law in line with alcohol.

If a police officer suspects that you are under 18 and in possession of cigarettes, tobacco or cigarette papers in a public place then they can confiscate them. If you don t cooperate with the police and hand over the items or provide your name and address if required, you are committing an offence and you could face a fine.

You will need valid proof of age to prove your age if you want to buy cigarettes. If you need proof of age then it might be worth getting a Young Scot National Entitlement Card. It’s free, PASS approved and you get loads of cool discounts as well. Call the Young Scot InfoLine for free on 0808 801 0338 (Mon Fri 10am 6pm) for more information.

The 2010 Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill

In January 2010 the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament. The Act introduced measures to prevent young people from starting to smoke. Parts of the Act came into force in April 2011

A registration scheme for tobacco retailers

Anyone who sells tobacco must be registered. The register makes it easier to enforce the law on selling to underage customers. Anyone who sells tobacco without being registered could face a fine of up to 20,000 and/or up to six months in prison.

Stricter measures against shops who sell tobacco to young people under 18.

The Act has introduced a new system of fixed penalty notices. This means that rather than being taken to court, the retailer face an immediate fine. Retailers who keep on selling to under 18s will be removed from the tobacco register for up to a year, stopping them selling tobacco.

Other parts of the act are yet to come into law because they are being challenged by tobacco companies

A ban on the display of cigarettes and other tobacco

Since tobacco advertising and sponsorship was banned in 2002, the industry has put in lots of work into making cigarette packs look cool. The aim is that young people won t get attracted to start smoking when they see what seem like cool displays.

A ban on the sale of cigarette through vending machines

16% of under age smokers in Scotland buy their cigarettes from vending machines. A ban makes it harder for under 18s to buy tobacco. Tobacco is the only harmful or age restricted product sold in vending machines.

More help and information

For help in stopping smoking call the Smokeline on 0800 84 84 84 (9am 9pm daily)

Nyc to raise minimum age for buying cigarettes from 18 to 21 – cbs news

Where to buy clove flavored cigarettes online – yahoo voices –

NEW YORK Smokers younger than 21 in the nation’s biggest city will soon be barred from buying cigarettes after the New York City Council voted overwhelming Wednesday to raise the tobacco purchasing age to higher than all but a few other places in the United States.

City lawmakers approved the bill which raises from 18 to 21 the purchasing age for cigarettes, certain tobacco products and even electronic vapor smokes and another that sets a minimum $10.50 a pack price for tobacco cigarettes and steps up law enforcement on illegal tobacco sales.

“This will literally save many, many lives,” said an emotional City Councilman James Gennaro, the bill’s sponsor, whose mother and father died from tobacco related illnesses. “I’ve lived with it, I’ve seen it … but I feel good today.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is a strong supporter of the tough smoking restrictions, has 30 days to sign the bills into law. The minimum age bill will take effect 180 days after enactment.

“We know that tobacco dependence can begin very soon after a young person first tries smoking so it’s critical that we stop young people from smoking before they ever start,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

With Wednesday’s vote, New York is by far the biggest city to bar cigarette sales to 19 and 20 year olds. Similar legislation is expected to come to a vote in Hawaii this December. The tobacco buying age is 21 in Needham, Mass., and is poised to rise to 21 in January in nearby Canton, Mass. The state of New Jersey is also considering a similar proposal.

Lawmakers who pushed for the change site city statistics that show youth smoking rates have plateaued at 8.5 percent since 2007.

“We have to do more and that’s what we’re doing today,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. “We have a real chance of leading the country and the world.”

The city’s current age limit is 18, a federal minimum that’s standard in many places. Smoking in city parks and beaches is already prohibited as it is in restaurants.

Advocates say higher age limits help prevent, or at least delay, young people from taking up a habit that remains the leading cause of preventable deaths nationwide. And supporters point to drinking age laws as a precedent for setting the bar at 21.

Some residents told CBS New York they support raising the minimum age so that young people won’t get hooked.

“I think you should be 21. I think when you’re 18, you just got out of high school. You don’t really know life yet,” a smoker said.

But cigarette manufacturers have suggested young adult smokers may just turn to black market merchants. And some smokers say it’s unfair and patronizing to tell people considered mature enough to vote and serve in the military that they’re not old enough to decide whether to smoke.

“New York City already has the highest cigarette tax rate and the highest cigarette smuggling rate in the country,” said Bryan D. Hatchell, a spokesman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, which makes Camel and other brands. “Those go hand in hand and this new law will only make the problem worse.”

A coalition of bodegas and tobacco store owners funded by tobacco manufactures also slammed the council’s vote Wednesday, particularly the bill that sets the minimum prices and bans tobacco product discounts and coupons.

Ramon Murphy, president of the Bodega Association of the U.S., said the new rules will drive people to illegal sellers who do not care about the age of their buyers.

Some business owners said they would lose a lot of revenue.

“I’m going to lose a lot of business,” deli owner Wadah Arbuya told CBS New York. “Maybe I’m going to get hurt big time. Half my sales of cigarettes is between 18 and 21.”