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Products you can't sell to minors

It's illegal to sell the following products to people below the stated age.

  • You must not sell alcohol to a person under 18.

    A person under 18, can't sell alcohol unless a person over 18 approves the sale.

    It's an offense for someone under 18 to try to buy alcohol. It's also an offence for an adult (a person over 18) to buy alcohol on behalf of someone under 18.

  • You must not sell any tobacco products to a person under 18. This includes cigarettes, hand rolling tobacco, cigars and pipe tobacco as well as cigarette papers and herbal smoking products.

    If you sell tobacco products they must not be on display and be kept in a closed cabinet. You must also display an A3-size notice in your shop stating 'It is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18'. Trading Standards can provide you with this notice. Email tradingstandards@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

    It's also an offence for an adult to buy tobacco products on behalf of someone under 18.

  • You must not sell e-cigarettes or the liquid refills for e-cigarettes to a person under 18.

    It's also an offence for an adult to buy e-cigarettes or e-liquids on behalf of someone under 18.

  • You must not sell to a person who hasn't reached the age shown on the label, which may be 12, 15 or 18.

  • You must not sell fireworks, including sparklers, to a person under 18.

    It's an offence to sell party poppers, toy caps, serpents, throw downs, novelty matches and cracker snaps to a person under 16.

  • You must not sell gas cigarette lighter refills to a person under 18. You must also not sell solvents to a person under 18 if you think they'll inhale the product to achieve intoxication.

  • You must not sell a ticket or instant scratch card to a person under 16.

    It's also an offence for a person under 16 to sell a National Lottery ticket.

  • You must not sell certain types of knives, and articles with blades or points, to a person under 18.

  • You must not sell petrol to a person under 16.

    It's also an offence for a person under 16 to sell petrol and you must not leave a person under 18 in charge of a petrol station.

  • You must not sell aerosol spray paints to a person under 16.

Precautions you must take

You must take all reasonable precautions to make sure that neither you nor your staff sell these age restricted goods to an underage person. If in doubt, and the person cannot provide proof of their age, refuse to sell the goods to them.

If you suspect an adult is buying the goods on behalf of someone underage, consider whether it's appropriate to sell them the goods.

Trading Standards carry our regular test purchase exercises and a failure may result in a criminal prosecution.

Remember: You don't have to sell to a customer if you don't want to.

Read more advice to help you understand the law