Buying E-Cigs for people under 18 declared illegal


Specialists explain that recent studies up to date have given inadequate results that can be used to draw conclusions that e-cigs, which contain no tobacco, are dangerous and demonstrate to hold any negative effect on a young person’s health.

About 1.3 million residents in the UK are users of these devices. E-cigs were specially devised to assist people who quit smoking. They can be accessed easily from chemists, pubs, newsagents, and even online. The main idea is replicating the experience that smokers get in conventional smoking and also deliver nicotine (the addictive substance) free of tar and other dangerous chemicals contained in tobacco. To many people, they are a better smoking alternative. However, there are fears that e-cigarettes could spur more people getting into the habit of smoking which has gone very low in recent times.

The ministers are further seeking to ban all adults from purchasing tobacco cigarettes for use by their children who are under the age of 18 years. Professor Sally Dame Davies, the England Chief Medical Officer, explains that no quantification of harmful effects resulting from e-cigarettes has been done. However, he points that medically it is known that taking high levels of nicotine and flavouring among other ingredients contained in the e-cigarettes liquid possess the potential to affect the health of young people.

Katherine Delvin, the president of Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association, narrates that the association has always favoured legislations and added that labelling these products emphasised that these devices should not be used by young people below the legalised age. An antismoking charity, ASH, supported the ban by indicating that it was necessary. However, ASH Chief Executive, Deborah Amott, differed slightly by proposing a method of licensing for ensuring that no cigarette is retailed from car boots and markets, but only from shops.

European Union prohibition not passed

At the moment, there is no ban on electronic cigarettes in the UK. This is different from several others in the EU that have proposed to ban the product. Trailing closely in the UK footsteps, Wales and Scotland are also considering a legislation to ban sale of electronic cigarettes to young people under the age of eighteen years. The government is in full support of such a restriction. Stroke Charity and NI Chest are also pushing the health minister to move such legislations. These propositions to change the law will come about by amending the current Children and Families Bill on the floor of the house. Labour, while proposing that purchasing cigarettes for young people under the age of eighteen years should be punished in a similar way to procuring alcohol, explained that the prohibition was indeed a softer position.

Electronic cigarettes in the UK are going to be licensed as medication from 2016 by Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. From this consideration, e-cigarettes are going to be regulated in a similar way to other related products such as nicotine patches and gum to ensure they comply with particular safety and quality standards. MEPs in the EU recently rejected one of the proposed bans on e-cigarettes’ sale.  MEPs however agreed that there is need to regulate e-cigarettes’ nicotine content and also leave the decision to place a ban on it on respective countries if they deemed it necessary. It is perceived that when more than 2 countries that are EU members consider banning electronic cigarettes, there is a possibility of having the device banned throughout the block.

Support from Adults

Causes related to smoking account for about 10,000 deaths every year in the UK. Professionals emphasise the need to bring down the number of people who smoke in their youthful years by passing laws that are similar to those that restrict alcohol sale. Current laws being proposed on e-cigarettes, that carry a £ 50 penalty notice or a fine that can go up to US £ 2,500 might be passed this autumn. The public health minister, Jane Ellison, presses people to use all ways and means in ensuring that young people enjoy healthier lifestyles. According to available statistics, 14% of young people who smoke in the UK indicate that they get cigarettes from other people and not directly from shops.


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