News item

Joint approach needed to stop damage from age restricted products

RestrictedsmallScotland put age restricted products in the spotlight with a Conference bringing together key players from across Scotland including trading standards, health sector, police and manufacturers.

Age Restricted Products – a Collaborative Approach Conference, on 31 August, hit home the complex impact issues around age restricted products have on our society, and the need for a strategic, multilateral response.

Organised by Angus Council and supported by the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS), the event also saw the launch of the updated Angus Code of Practice on Ages Restricted Products, endorsed by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
Though the Conference was in Scotland, its scope and purpose are relevant to the United Kingdom as a whole.  Indeed the Local Better Regulation Office is currently consulting on creating a similar new code of guidance on age restricted products and services for England and Wales.

Legislative restrictions exist for a wide range of products, from tobacco and solvents to alcohol and knives.  Most regulation in this area shares common objectives of protecting children from harm and limiting access to products that can negatively impact on communities.

Trading Standards Institute’s vice president Dave Thompson MSP, who opened the Conference, said: “Trading standards have an important role keeping our young people safe through the enforcement of age restricted sales legislation, which covers a wide range of products and services ranging from tobacco to fireworks, from solvents to sunbed use.
“The misuse of these products and services, and their illegal trade, have far reaching consequences that affect all of us by impacting on the health, safety and prosperity of our communities.
“The scale of the problem is not to be underestimated; BBC investigations found that half of all hand-rolled tobacco smoked in the UK is counterfeit, as is one in five cigarettes, and that up to a quarter of licensed premises in some parts of the UK have been found to have counterfeit alcohol for sale.  The cost to health, our health service, and the economy is massive.”

Angus Council’s spokesman on trading standards Councillor David May said: “With a Government consultation under way to review all aspects of consumer protection, this conference gives Angus Council the opportunity to showcase the successful partnership working we are doing in the county.
 “The age restricted products sector is a very complex area that needs to be tackled in a strategic, multipronged way to touch all of its aspects, which include anti-social behaviour, health issues, links to organised crime and the grey economy.
“The conference is an opportunity for all parties to come together to have a better understanding of all the implications of age restricted products related issues, and to encourage us all, across the country, to start moving collectively on this.”

Notes for Editors:
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact
Irja Howie at TSI press office on 08456089430 / 07780675815 or

Jenni Amos at Angus Council press office on 01307 476117 or on

TSI offers a unique business training programme to help business and staff understand trading regulations, so they can protect customer interests and promote good business. This training is delivered through the Fair Trading Award (FTA) programme.
The FTA training contains a standalone module on underage sales, including:
• what the law requires of business and staff
• proxy sales
• An explanation of due diligence
• Challenge 25, proof of age, refusals, traininG
• sample forms
   o notices to display
   o staff declaration
   o sales refusal log

Trading Standards Institute (TSI)
TSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally.  We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities.
TSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses.  We are also supporting the delivery of initiatives such as the advice services Consumer Direct, UK ECC and ECCS.