Age Restricted Products

There are several laws in force which place age restrictions on a number of products to protect the health and safety of young people.  It is illegal to sell or supply these products to people who have not reached the required age.

The following table provides information on the age restrictions in place and all relevant legislation and sanctions.

Age Restricted Products
ProductAge LimitLegislationMaximum Penalty
Alcohol18Licensing Act 2003 £ 5,000.00 fine and loss of licence
Tobacco products (Including cigarettes, cigarette papers, etc)18

Children and Young Persons (Protection from Tobacco) Act 1991.  Children and Young Persons Act 1933

£ 2,500.00 fine
Fireworks18Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997 £ 5,000.00 fine and up to 6 months imprisonment
Lighter refills containing butane18Cigarette Lighter Refill (Safety) Regulations 1999 £ 5,000.00 fine and up to 6 months imprisonment
Volatile substances / solvents (when it is believed that they are likely to be inhaled or are for the purposes of being intoxicated)18Intoxicating Substances (Supply) Act 1985 £ 5,000.00 fine and up to 6 months imprisonment
Offensive weapons (Knives, knife blade, axe, any other article which has a blade or is sharply pointed and which is made or adapted for use for causing injury to a person)18Offensive Weapons Act 1996 £ 5,000.00 fine and up to 6 months imprisonment
Lottery tickets / scratchcards16National Lottery, etc Act 1993.  National Lottery Regulations 1994 £ 5,000.00 fine and up to 2 years imprisonment
Video Recordings (including Computer Games)12, 15, 18Video Recordings Act 1984 £ 5,000.00 fine and up to 6 months imprisonment

In order to ensure compliance with the above legislation Trading Standards conduct regular test purchasing exercises to off-licences using young volunteers.

We respond to specific complaints and also carry out assessments of risk for the Cumbria area.  Otherwise, we frequently deal with problems relating to age restricted products and underage sales through routine inspection, advice to traders and education.

Reporting Underage Sales

If you suspect a retailer of selling age restricted products to individuals under the minimum age then you can report it to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 2231133 or visit