Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)
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Friday, 12 February 2010

Smoking 16+

From a comment over at Liberal Vision
Kids don’t and have never bought cigs from vending machines. Too expensive. They get their older mates or sympathetic adults to buy for them. Not illegal so whats the problem?
It’s also not illegal for the kids to smoke them. So instead of telling them what to, plain and simple guidance may be a better option. Education! remember that? It’s the way to let children grow into adults so they can make up their own minds. If they then choose to ignore the righteous then so be it.
So the 'law' got checked, and "marley" is absolutely right.

According to Wikipedia (there are references within the original article)
It is illegal to sell tobacco to anyone under the age of 18 in England and Wales or in Scotland (increased from 16 on 1 October 2007). Police constables and park keepers in uniform have a duty to confiscate tobacco or cigarettes from persons aged under 16 who are found smoking in a public place.
It is not illegal for cigarettes or related items to be bought or smoked by people 16 or over, it is only illegal to sell cigarettes to people under 18. This means it is perfectly legal to smoke cigarettes or use tobacco products from the age of 16, it is only illegal to sell them to people under the age of 18. It is not illegal for someone over 18 to buy cigarettes for someone over 16, only illegal to buy them for someone under 16.
Shops seem to be able to refuse to sell anything if they don't want to - but  when did that happen, because it used to be that if the law said you were old enough to buy something and a shop was selling it then they didn't have the right to refuse.

When did that law change? - Don't know the answer to that one.
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5 comments:

Witterings From Witney said...

Too many 'butts' in that post Mrs. R - not your fault I hasten to add!

Rather appropriate that as we talking about breaking the law - the word verification was 'excon'!

Blogger has a sense of humour!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs Rigby

"Shops seem to be able to refuse to sell anything if they don't want to - but when did that happen, because it used to be that if the law said you were old enough to buy something and a shop was selling it then they didn't have the right to refuse.

When did that law change? - Don't know the answer to that one. "

The position in law regarding to sale of goods by a shop falls within merchantile law which was a part of civil law well established way back in the mists of time until the state decided to stick its nose into it.

The historic and current practice is that all goods on display 'for sale' actually constitute an 'invitation to treat'. A customer selects a product, then makes an 'offer' to purchase to the shopkeeper, which the shopkeeper is at perfect liberty to accept or refuse. Once the shopkeeper accepts, a contract exists by which both parties are bound - the shopkeeper to deliver the goods and the customer to pay for them.

Merchantile law is a fascinating subject to indulge in when there is not much of interest on TV - which is most nights.

DP

Mrs R said...

@ WfW - Yes, blogger does seem to have a way with words, and yes I do agree about the 'butts' of both sorts, it was more of a question than anything.

@ DP - Thanks for that. So any shop can refuse to sell any potential customer anything they might be displaying, and needn't give a reason.

Leg-iron said...

Agree with DP on this.

I was talking to a local shopkeeper about this some time ago. He had ejected a stroppy customer, refused to serve them and banned them from his shop. I can't remember what this customer did to annoy him.

The customer insisted he had the right to go into any shop he liked whenever he liked and the shop was obliged to serve him.

As the shopkeeper pointed out, the premises are private and everything inside is his property. Not only is he not obliged to sell any of it to anyone, he's not even obliged to let anyone into the shop.

Of course, shops taking that line with every customer wouldn't be in business for long.

A lot of newsagents and bakeries etc near schools have a sign saying 'No more than two of you barely literate monsters at any one time'. That's perfectly legal. They'd allow more in, if the kids learned about numbers higher than two.

In effect, when you walk into a shop, it's no different to walking into someone's house, remarking on something and offering to buy it. The shopkeeper can refuse to sell but in real life, is rarely likely to do that because the whole point of their business is to sell things. They are not legally obliged to.

A fun way to spend a big lottery win would be to set up a shop displaying valuable stuff with price tags in pennies, then refuse to accept any offers to buy. Well, it would be fun if you're the sort who enjoys a good argument.

Mrs R said...

@ L-i.
Yes, it all makes sense doesn't it - and explains all the rules the owners of shopping centres can make, and enforce - because they're essentially private property, unlike the pavement outside that's looked after by the council.

I'm glad I asked the question though, even if it perhaps seems a bit low wattage, because you and DP have explained things so well.

Thanks for that.