Stubbing out bad habits

Monday January 29th 2018

boy smoking

Midlothian Council is backing a new Scotland wide campaign that warns adults not to buy cigarettes for underage children.

The legal minimum age at which tobacco can be bought in England, Scotland and Wales is 18. However many people aged 18 or over are willing to purchase cigarettes for young people aged under 17. These are known as ‘proxy sales’. Older friends and even family members form part of the supply chain.

The campaign, called #notafavour, is part of a wider effort for Scotland to become “tobacco-free” by 2034. The campaign seeks to address the misconception that giving young people tobacco is a favour.

Smoking Facts

Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable death in Scotland.

The earlier a smoker starts the more their health is damaged and the harder it is to quit.

Young people underestimate the risks of smoking and get dependent on nicotine faster than adults do.

Midlothian Council’s Trading Standards Manager Stephen Thomson said:

“Some young people under 18 often ask adults to buy cigarettes for them. It is illegal to sell tobacco to under 18s, to buy tobacco to give to under 18s, or for under 18s to try to buy tobacco products themselves. The minority of people who do pass on cigarettes to those too young to buy them for themselves are not doing these young people any favours. Research shows that the earlier a person takes up smoking, the more damage there will be to their health and the harder it is for them to quit. Also, most smokers started as children and most smokers say that they want to stop.”

Midlothian Trading Standards also want to remind tobacco retailers that they need to be as vigilant as possible when selling tobacco products and be fully aware that not all adults are buying for themselves.

For further information about the #notafavour campaign please contact Midlothian Trading Standards on 0131 271 3549 or TradingStandards@midlothian.gov.uk

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