Tobacco and related products

It’s illegal to sell cigarettes, or any tobacco product, from an automatic vending machine in England - regardless of age. For the sale of tobacco products, a statutory shop notice should be on display.

Download the statutory tobacco shop notice (PDF)

Updated tobacco product laws

The UK Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 state that all nicotine-containing products, including ‘roll your own’, e-cigarettes and refills, must comply with the standards below.

The new rules ensure:

  • minimum standards for the safety and quality of all e-cigarettes and refill containers (otherwise known as e-liquids)
  • that information will be provided to consumers so that they can make informed choices
  • an environment that protects children from starting to use these products.

From 20 May 2020 retailers must ensure they only sell:

  • tobacco with standardised packaging
  • cigarette packs containing a minimum of 20 cigarettes
  • roll your own tobacco which has a minimum weight of 30g
  • tobacco with 65% of the front and back of the packaging covered by health warnings
  • unflavoured cigarettes or ‘roll your own’ tobacco (with the exemption of menthol cigarettes)
  • e-cigarettes which feature a health warning
  • e-cigarettes with a maximum of 20mg/ml (unless they are licensed medicines)
  • e-cigarette refills with a maximum size of 10ml
  • disposable e-cigarettes, cartridges and tanks with a maximum size of 2ml

For detailed guidance or to download an information poster to display in shops, visit the ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) website.

The Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is responsible for implementing the majority of provisions and has been designated as the competent authority for the notification scheme for e-cigarettes and refill containers in the UK.

Find out more about e-cigarette regulations

Niche Tobacco Products Directory

The Niche Tobacco Products Directory (NTPD) provides a good source of reference material and will help those organisations which regulate this market. NTPD is supported by both the Department of Health and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs as an aid for regulators, health professionals and businesses offering advice and information about the diverse nature of niche tobacco products and the legislation that applies to them.

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