The Smoking Ban: Ten Years On

Thursday, 20 July 2017  |  Admin

July marks the ten year ban of indoor smoking in public places.  Whilst ten years isn’t a long time when you consider cigarettes have been prevalent in the UK for over 450 years, a lot of legislation has been passed to discourage young and old alike, to stop smoking.

July 1st 2007

Described as ‘the most important piece of public health legislation for a generation’, smoking in public places was banned in July 2007. Applying to any workplace, enclosed public space or public transport, the new law safeguarded non-smokers against the potential damage caused by second hand, or passive, smoking.

October 1st 2007

Going one step further, in October of the same year under-18s were banned from buying cigarettes in England and Wales with the ban in Scotland coming into force in March 2008. Shops that broke the law could lose their licence to sell tobacco for up to a year.

October 1st 2015

Protecting children, and their sensitive lungs, from the dangers of passive smoking, it became illegal to smoke in a car with child passengers in October 2015. Being such an enclosed space, the threat of second hand smoking in cars was a major issue and if caught, the offender would be issued with a £50 fine.

21st May 2017

May of this year saw the biggest change in cigarette and smoking laws since the ban a decade ago. Cigarettes could no longer be sold in packs of ten, with bags of tobacco less than 30g also banned. This meant that the cheapest package of cigarettes would cost £8.82, in an attempt to price out young people.

Cigarette packets also had to be plain; graphic images which show the impact that tobacco has on health, printed onto a brown box with no branding. Some flavoured cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco, including fruit, spice, herbs, alcohol, candy or vanilla, were also made illegal.
Menthol cigarettes, which experts say have often been aimed at beginner smokers, are also being gradually phased out.

Laws also changed for e-cigarettes. E-cigarette tanks can hold no more than 2ml, with the refill container no larger than 10ml. The nicotine strength of e-liquids can be no more than 20mg/ml and has to be tamper and child proof. Similar to cigarettes, labelling and warnings must be present on the packaging.

The government is taking the right steps in restricting the access young people have to cigarettes tobacco, and so it is now up to retailers to ensure that the sales of these restricted products does not occur. 

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