New laws announced banning children under the age of 18 from buying e-cigarettes are being supported by Nicolites – the UK’s favourite brand of e-cigarette.
Ministers are expected to make it a criminal offence for the first time for adults to buy conventional cigarettes for under-aged children, punishable with a fine of up to £2,500.
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, will back amendments to the Children and Families Bill to create a new “age of sale requirement” for e-cigarettes and make “proxy” purchasing – knowingly buying tobacco on behalf of someone under 18 – illegal.
Nikhil Nathwani, MD of Nicolites, said: “At Nicolites we have always been extremely aware of the dangers associated with young people and smoking. That is why we have taken all measures possible to prevent our e-cigarettes being sold to anyone under 18.
“We therefore welcome the Government’s announcement of new legislation controlling the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s and making it a criminal offence for an adult to buy them on behalf of a young person. The new law will reinforce the message that we have always conveyed to the retailers that stock our products. We will do all we can to support the Government and to ensure that it is implemented and strictly adhered to.”
He added: “Our packaging and marketing always stresses that Nicolites are intended for sale to those aged over 18 only and we will continue to make this message as clear as possible.”
Some 1.3 million people in Britain are thought to have switched from smoking conventional tobacco cigarettes – which contain over 4,000 chemicals and carcinogens – to the electronic vaporising devices. E-cigarettes give smokers a hit of nicotine and are thought to be safer than cigarettes.