We welcome a key vote by Assembly Members which paves the way for legislation across the UK that would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to under-18s and make it illegal to buy tobacco on behalf of a child.

AMs voted to approve a Legislative Consent Motion tabled by the Welsh Government in the Senedd earlier today (4th February) prior to the Third Reading of the Children and Families Bill in the Lords on Wednesday 5th February.

“Nicotine is a highly addictive drug whose sale is restricted to 18 and over in its most common form – tobacco. While there is some evidence that e-cigarettes can reduce harm to adults who are trying to give up smoking, there are growing concerns that e-cigarettes may act as a gateway for young people to begin smoking, given the addictiveness of nicotine. In addition, the ready availability of e-cigarettes and their lack of regulation contain potential for both re-normalising and re-glamorising the appearance of smoking which we are very concerned about.

“Proxy purchasing is one of the most important sources of tobacco for young people and has been increasing since the age restriction for the purchase of tobacco was raised from 16 to 18. This measure would make it illegal for people to buy tobacco for anyone under 18 and will be another useful tool in restricting the access of tobacco to young people.”

Elen de Lacy, Chief Executive of ASH Wales