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Thursday 27th October 2016

Raise in smoking age

23rd November 2006

05102006_teenagesmoking1.jpgThe legal age for buying tobacco products could soon be raised to 18 across Scotland within the next six months.

Figures for 2004 reveal five per cent of boys and seven per cent of girls are regular smokers by age 13 - and these figures almost treble among 15-year-olds.

The Scottish Executive is backing recommendations made by an expert group on smoking prevention and has stated it will now begin work consultation with a range of organisations including the Scottish Youth Parliament.

It comes after legislation was introduced to ban smoking in enclosed public places, which also allowed parliament to increase the age, with regulation.

The Smoking Prevention Working Group, which includes health experts and academics, made 31 recommendations to form part of a five-year plan. Among the recommendations were bans for shopkeepers caught selling to under age smokers.

A range of anti-smoking and health groups has supported the recommendations, including the smoking lobby group Forest.

The executive is now looking at whether the change could be introduced before May's Holyrood election.

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