THE LAW IN ENGLAND AND WALES

It is illegal to sell a nicotine inhaling product to any person aged under 18.

Nicotine inhaling products include:

  • a nicotine cartridge which contains a nicotine substance (other than tobacco)
  • a nicotine inhaling device intended to allow the inhalation of nicotine through a mouthpiece (but is not tobacco or a tobacco pipe)
  • a nicotine refill substance (other than tobacco)

Some medicinal products would be exempt, but there are currently no relevant licences in place in the UK.

It is illegal to purchase nicotine inhaling devices on behalf of someone aged under 18.

The penalty for breaching the prohibitions is a maximum £2,500 fine.

THE LAW IN SCOTLAND

On 1st April 2017, Nicotine Vapour Products (NVP) become regulated in Scotland. 

  • Retailers must update or register on the Register of Tobacco and NVPs
  • It will be illegal to sell an NVP to any person under 18 years of age
  • It will be illegal to buy and NVP on behalf of any person under 18 years of age (proxy sale)
  • Any person under 18 years of age is prohibited from selling tobacco or NVPs unless authorised by the Responsible Person
  • Retailers must operate a 'Challenge 25' Age Verification Policy

The maximum penalty for an under age sale of an NVP is £2,500

The penalty for not having an Age Verification Policy is a fine of up to £500

The penalty for failing to authorise a sale by a member of staff who is under 18 years of age is a fine of up to £200

The penalty for failing to register your business correctly is a fine of up to £20,000, six months imprisonment or both.

Persistent breaches of the laws can also result in a banning order preventing the sale of tobacco and/or NVPs for up to 2 years.