Local Shops Successful at Preventing Underage Sales

New data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has show that smoking and drinking rates have fallen and young people are less likely to access these products from shops.

The ‘Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People in England – 2014’ report shows that 58% of regular smokers between the ages of 11 and 15 attempted and were refused when trying to buy cigarettes in a shop in 2014, a decrease from 85% in 1998. In addition, the report also shows that just 11% of current underage drinkers bought alcohol from a shop or supermarket in 2014.

ACS chief executive, James Lowman, said: “These figures are extremely encouraging and show that local shops are doing fantastic work at preventing underage sales and successfully employing the ‘Challenge 25’ policy.”

The HSCIC’s data also shows that proxy purchasing, the purchase of alcohol or tobacco by an adult for a child, was still the most prevalent way for underage children to obtain alcohol and tobacco. The most common way for 11 – 15 year olds to attain tobacco products is to be given them by other people (64%); whilst most children said they were given alcohol from parents (17%), friends (15%) or by asking a stranger to purchase it for them (11%).

Mr Lowman continued: “Proxy purchasing is challenging for retailers to tackle because they cannot know what an adult customer intends to do with the product once purchased.  We need the police to do more to prosecute adults that proxy purchase, especially as these figures show that most young smokers and drinkers are not buying these products themselves.”

More advice for retailers about underage sales and proxy purchasing can be found in the ACS Assured Advice guide for ‘Preventing Underage Sales’, here:

This entry was posted by Victoria on Thu, 23/07/2015 - 14:15