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News: New cigarette laws to protect under-18s

Another change in the law - and one which may surprise many people - is the new rule making the purchase of real cigarettes by an adult for minors illegal. Research has shown that nearly half of all smokers aged 15 or under procure their cigarettes by asking older people to purchase them, which currently holds no fine. Under the new law, the adult in question could receive a fine of up to£2,500.

According to the Department of Health, the implemented measures are designed to help parents protect children from developing smoking habits and nicotine addiction. The new laws are expected to come into effect in autumn of 2014.

What are e-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are a relatively new phenomenon in the UK; while inhalators have often been used to help smokers ditch the habit, this new generation are able to light up and even release "smoke" using water vapour - meaning that the habitual behaviour can be indulged in without the inhalation of some of the more harmful chemicals in cigarettes.

This water vapour also means that it's legal to smoke these indoors and in public places, as there is no burning or smoke emitted from the e-cigarettes. Currently, there is no age limit on the devices.

While e-cigarettes are available across the UK in supermarkets and newsagents, the Department of Health has been quick to note that the devices may not be as risk-free as advertised, stating that toxic chemicals may be released and that there is not enough evidence yet to show the long-term effect they can have on adults.

Resources

http://www.webmd.boots.com/children/news/20140127/e-cigarette-ban-for-under-18s

http://www.nursingtimes.net/nursing-practice/clinical-zones/smoking-cessation/government-to-ban-e-cigarettes-for-under-18s/5067423.article?blocktitle=News-archive&contentID=700

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