Buying Alcohol and Cigarettes For Under 18's

You’re on your way into the corner shop to buy a carryout for the weekend. A group of young people are hanging about trying to get adults to buy them fags and booze. They don’t have ID and say they’ll give you cash to buy stuff for them. What do you do?

Aside from the fact that buying these age restricted products for someone under 18 could land you with a criminal record and a hefty fine, you really aren’t doing them a favour.

Research shows that delaying the age that young people first try smoking can reduce the risk that they become regular or daily tobacco users and increase their chances of successfully quitting, if they do become regular users.

Plus the earlier someone starts, the longer they will spend smoking, which means the risk of them developing lung cancer or any of the many smoking-related health problems in adulthood also increases.

And when it comes to alcohol… think about the effect of a can of beer or two on someone that’s half your size.

Every year thousands of young people under 18 end up in A&E in Scotland due to alcohol related incidents - things like choking on vomit after drinking too much, passing out in the park and risking hypothermia, running across railway lines, jumping in front of cars…

Again early damage is caused to developing bodies and brains and can lead to poorer health in later life and a greater risk of developing a dependency on alcohol. 

So next time you get asked to buy fags or booze for someone younger than you, just think, are you really doing them a favour?

Find out more about smoking and the law, and what alcohol does to your body

Plus find out more over at Not A Favour about the impacts of buying alcohol and cigarettes for people who are underage. 


Head back to the Choices for Life landing page.