Cigarettes can no longer be sold from vending machines from 1 February 2012

The following information has been provided by the Welsh Government.

What Should I Do With My Vending Machine?

If the vending machine isn't your property, you should not move or damage it. It is best practice to contact the owner or operator to agree arrangements to empty the machine or remove it. The new law does not prohibit cigarette vending machines themselves, so a machine can stay in place - but only if it can't be used by the public to buy tobacco and doesn't have tobacco advertising on show.

Why Cigarette Vending Is Ending

Vending machines are an easy way for under 18's to buy cigarettes - especially where the machines are unsupervised. In fact, 11% of 11-15 year olds who regularly smoke say that they buy cigarettes from vending machines.* This is why from 1st February 2012 it will be illegal to sell cigarettes from vending machines to anyone, regardless of their age.

To comply with the new law you will have to make sure that any vending machine on your premises cannot be used by the public to buy cigarettes or any other tobacco product. Also, all tobacco adverts on the machine will need to be removed or securely covered up so that they are no longer visible.

What Happens If I Don't Comply With The New Law?

From 1st February 2012, if your local Trading Standards Officer finds that cigarettes are still being sold to the public directly from a vending machine on premises you own or manage, you could be fined up to £2,500. If any vending machine still displays tobacco advertising you could be fined up to £5,000, or be imprisoned for up to two years, or both. For more information please speak to one of our officers. Ending the sale of cigarettes from vending machines will make it harder for under 18's to buy them.


Here is what you need to do to comply with the new law on 1st February 2012.

  • Make sure that the machine cannot be used by any member of the public to buy tobacco.
  • Cover any cigarette adverts on the machine.

It is also a good idea to speak to the machine operator to arrange for them to remove the machine.

*Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England in 2010. NHS - The Information Centre

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