Smoking age

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The smoking age is the minimum legal age required to purchase or smoke tobacco products. Most countries have laws that restrict those below a minimum age from legally purchasing tobacco products.

Smoking age laws by region[edit]

Africa[edit]

Minimum age to purchase tobacco in Africa as of 2015:
  Minimum age is 19
  Minimum age is 18
  Minimum age is 16
  No minimum age
Country De jure Notes
Legal age to smoke any tobacco products Legal age to buy any tobacco products
 Algeria None 19 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to minors under the age of 19 years.
(Chapitre IV sur les problèmes de santé l'article 93: "la vente de tabac ou produits du tabac aux mineurs est interdite".)[1]
 Angola None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco to minors under the age of 18.[2]
 Benin None 18 [3]
 Botswana None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco to minors under the age of 18. Any person who sells, by retail, any tobacco product, shall display clearly, for the public, a notice to the effect that the sale of any tobacco product to a person under the age of 18 years is prohibited.[4]
 Burkina Faso None 18 [5]
 Burundi None 18 It is illegal to sell cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18. Other tobacco products are not regulated.[6]
 Cameroon 15
 Cape Verde 15
 Central African Republic 14
 Chad 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco to a minor. Minors and pregnant women may not smoke in public.[7]
 Comoros None 18 The sale of tobacco products to minors is prohibited. Vendors of tobacco products must visibly and prominently display at their point of sale a notice of prohibition of the sale of tobacco to minors and by minors.[8]
 Republic of the Congo 18 [9]
 Democratic Republic of the Congo 18 It is illegal for minors to smoke in public, and for anyone to give or sell tobacco to a minor.
(ARRETE MINISTERIEL N°1250 Article 1: L'usage, la vente, l'achat et la consommation du tabac, de ses produits et de ses dérivés sont strictement interdits aux mineurs.)[10]
 Djibouti None 16 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to a minor under the age of 16 years. A notice with the sale restrictions has to be placed at point of sale.[11]
 Egypt 18 The sale of tobacco products to persons under the age of 18 is prohibited.
 Equatorial Guinea 18 [12]
 Eritrea None 18 [13]
 Ethiopia None 18 "No person may directly or indirectly give, provide or sell any tobacco product to a person under the age of 18."[14]
 Gabon None 18 [15]
 Gambia None
 Ghana 18 [16]
 Guinea-Bissau 15
 Kenya None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. There is no minimum age to possess tobacco or smoke in public.[17]
 Lesotho 14
 Liberia 18 It is illegal to sell or supply tobacco to a minor. Minors may not consume tobacco at any public place.[18]
 Libya None 18 It is strictly prohibited to sell any tobacco product to a person under the age of 18 years.[19]
 Madagascar None 18 [20]
 Malawi 14
 Mali None 18 [21]
 Mauritius 18 A person must be 18 years old to purchase or to smoke cigarettes including any tobacco products as is indicated in Public Health (Restrictions on Tobacco Products) Regulations 1999, Sec. 2(e)(i)).
 Morocco 16
 Mozambique None 18 [22]
 Namibia None 18 It is illegal to sell or supply tobacco to a minor.[23]
No minimum age prior to 14 April 2010.
 Niger None
18 (to enter smoking room or facility)
18 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to a minor. Minors may not enter any smoking room or facility where smoking is permitted by law.[24]
No minimum age prior to 17 July 2008.
 Nigeria None 18 It is illegal to sell, give or otherwise supply tobacco products to a minor.[25]
 Republic of the Congo 14
 Rwanda None 18 It is prohibited to involve a person under 18 in, buying, selling and exchanging of tobacco and tobacco products. It is also prohibited for the seller to sell tobacco and tobacco products to a person under 18.[26]
 São Tomé and Príncipe None 16 [27]
 Senegal None 18 It is illegal to sell or give tobacco to a person under the age of 18 years. (Chapitre III.- Accès aux produits du tabac: Article 17 Il est interdit de vendre ou d'offrir aux mineurs ou de faire vendre ou de faire offrir par les mineurs du tabac ou tout produit du tabac.)[28]
 Seychelles 18 [29]
 Somalia 15
 South Africa 18 It is illegal to sell or supply any tobacco product to a person under the age of 18.[30]
 South Sudan 15
 Swaziland None 18 It is illegal to sell and give tobacco to anyone under the age of 18 years.[31]
 Sudan None
18 (to enter smoking room or facility)
18 It is illegal to sell or give tobacco to a minor. Anyone under the age of 18 may also not handle, store, work or produce with tobacco or within such a facility.[32]
 Tanzania 18 It is unlawful to sell or give tobacco products to a minor, and to smoke such tobacco products if the individual is younger than 18 years.[33]
 Togo None 18 It is illegal to sell or give any tobacco product to a minor.[34]
 Tunisia None 18 [35]
 Uganda None 21 It is now illegal for a person below the age of 21 to access cigarettes.[36]
 Zambia None 16 It is illegal to sell tobacco to anyone under age 16. No minimum age for consumption and possession in public.
No minimum age prior to 1 January 1993.[37]
 Zimbabwe None 18 It is illegal to sell or give tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18. Minors may not sell tobacco.[38]

Americas[edit]

Minimum age to purchase tobacco in Canada, Greenland, Mexico, and the United States as of January 2018:
  Minimum age is 21
  Minimum age is 19
  Minimum age is 18
Country De jure Notes
Smoking age Purchase age
 Antigua and Barbuda None Antigua and Barbuda doesn't have any restrictions towards selling tobacco to minors or smoking in general.[39]
 Argentina None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to minors.[40]
 Bahamas None 18 [41]
 Belize None
 Bermuda None 18 No person shall sell or supply any cigarettes, tobacco or tobacco products to a minor. A person selling or supplying any cigarettes, tobacco or tobacco products to a person who appears to be under 25 years of age shall, before selling or supplying them, ensure, by requiring photo identification, that the latter person is not a minor.[42]
 Bolivia None 18 The sale of tobacco products to minors under the age of 18 years is prohibited.[43]
 Brazil None 18 It is illegal to "sell Products whose ingredients can cause physical or psychic dependence, even if only through improper use" (…). This also includes tobacco products of any kind.[44]
 British Virgin Islands None 18 It is illegal to sell or offer to sell tobacco to anyone under the age of 18 years. It is not illegal for minors to purchase, possess or consume tobacco.[45]
 Canada
 Chile None 18 It is illegal to sell any form of tobacco to a person under the age of 18 years.[61]
 Colombia None 18 It is forbidden for any individual or legal entity to directly or indirectly sell tobacco products and its derivatives in any of its presentations to minors under the age of 18 years. In case of question, one must ask each tobacco purchaser to show that he has reached majority age.[62]
 Costa Rica None 18 Tobacco products may not be sold to minors. Wholesale or retail vendors of products shall have the obligation, at their own expense, to display posters that are visible, clear and prominently placed on the inside of places of sale, stating that the sale of tobacco products to minors is prohibited.[63]
 Cuba None 18 Minors cannot legally buy tobacco,[64] but stores may sell it to those who look 13 or older.[citation needed]
 Cayman Islands None 18 Tobacco Law, 2007 PART V – Section 10: No person shall sell tobacco to a minor.[65]
 Dominican Republic None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco to a person under the age of 18 years.[66]
 Ecuador None 18 It is illegal to sell or let sell tobacco to or by a minor.[67]
 El Salvador None 18 It is illegal to sell or give tobacco to a minor.[68]
 Falkland Islands None
 Guatemala 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. Public consumption of tobacco by minors is prohibited. (El decreto 90-97, Código de Salud, indica en su artículo 50)[69]
 Guyana None 18 No tobacco may be sold or furnished to a minor.[70]
 Haiti None 18
 Honduras None 21 The sale and/or gifting of tobaccoderived products to persons under 21 years of age is prohibited.[71]
 Jamaica None 18 [72]
 Mexico None 18 [73]
 Nicaragua None 18 [74]
 Panama None 18 The sale of tobacco products to minors is prohibited.[75]
 Paraguay None 18 It is unlawful to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years.[76]
 Peru 18 The sale of tobacco products to/by minors under the age of 18 is prohibited.[77]
 Trinidad and Tobago None 18 Tobacco shall not be sold to or by a child under the age of 18 years.[78]
 United States
(50 states and integral territories)

The federal law requires states to have a minimum age of 18 years for sale/purchase of tobacco products (21 U.S.C. § 387f. (3)(a)(ii)). State and local laws may extend this ban and also prohibit supply, possession and consumption to/by person underage, or increase the age beyond 18. However, most states do not directly ban the consumption of tobacco by a minor. The federal law requiring states to have a minimum purchasing age at 18 is enforced by withholding FEMA disaster and non-disaster grants from states that have purchasing ages under 18, and currently no state falls under that category.

Regulations by state:
State/territory Smoking age Purchase age Notes
 Alabama 19 (including Alabama National Guard Bases)
18 (on military bases under federal law)[79]
It is illegal to sell or give tobacco products to anyone under the age of 19 years. Minors are prohibited from using and possessing tobacco products.
The minimum age was introduced in 1896.[80]
 Alaska None 19[81] It is illegal to sell or give tobacco products to anyone under the age of 19 years. Possession by minors is prohibited. The minimum age requirement does not apply to a person who is a prisoner at an adult correctional facility.[82]
The minimum age of 16 years was introduced in 1978.
The minimum age was raised from 16 to 19 in 1988.[80]
 American Samoa 18
 Arizona None 18[83] It is illegal to sell or give tobacco products or smoking equipment to anyone under the age of 18 years. It is illegal for a minor to be in possession of tobacco or smoking equipment, or to receive them.
None 21[84][85]
Cottonwood and Douglas have raised their tobacco sales age to 21.
 Arkansas 18[86] It is illegal to give or sell tobacco to anyone under the age of 18 years. It is illegal for minors to be in possession of tobacco products and to smoke in public.
18 21[87]
Helena–West Helena has raised the sales age for tobacco products to 21.
 California 18[88] 21[89] As of 9 June 2016, it is illegal to sell or furnish tobacco to a person under 21 years of age, with an exception for people in active military service who are 18 years old. Before 9 June, the age to purchase tobacco was 18 years of age.
 Colorado 18[90] It is illegal to sell, give or distribute tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. Minors under the age of 18 years are prohibited from being in possession of any tobacco product.
18 21[91]
Aspen has raised the sales age for tobacco products to 21.
 Connecticut None 18[92] It is illegal to sell or give tobacco products to anyone under 18. It is illegal for minors to possess tobacco in public.
A minimum age of 16 was introduced in 1902.
The minimum age was raised from 16 to 18 in 1987.[80]
 Delaware None 18[93] Selling, giving or otherwhise distributing tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years is illegal. Minors under the age of 18 years are not allowed to attempt to purchase tobacco or to be in the possession of tobacco products.
The minimum age of 17 years was introduced in 1953.
The minimum age was raised from 17 to 18 in 1992.[80][94]
 Florida None 18[95] The Florida Statutes make it a criminal offence so sell or supply tobacco to an individual under the age of 18 years. Minors may also not be in possession of tobacco products.
 Georgia None 18[96] It is illegal to sell or give tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. It is illegal for minors to possess tobacco in public. Minors are allowed to possess tobacco products and to consume those, in private home if permission is given by parents or legal guardian.
The minimum age of 17 years was introduced in 1987.
The minimum age was raised from 17 to 18 in 1993.[80][94]
 Guam 21 The minimum age was raised from 18 to 21, as of 1 January 2018.[97]
 Hawaii 21[98][99] It is illegal to sell or furnish tobacco to a person under 21 years of age. It is also illegal for a person under 21 years of age to attempt to purchase tobacco.

The minimum age of 15 years was introduced on 11 November 1890.[100]
The minimum age was raised from 15 to 18 on 1 January 1988.[101]
The minimum age was raised from 18 to 21 on 1 January 2016.[102]

 Idaho 18[103][104]
 Illinois 18[105][106][107]
18[105] 21[108] Fourteen cities in Illinois, including Chicago and Naperville, have raised their tobacco sales age to 21.
 Indiana None 18[109] Giving, selling, providing and distributing tobacco to minors is illegal. Minors may not possess, accept or purchase tobacco. Minors are not allowed to enter a tobacco business, defined in state law as a business whose primary activity is the sale of tobacco products and accessories.
The minimum age of 16 years was introduced in 1980.
The minimum age was raised from 16 to 18 in 1987.[80]
 Iowa 18[110] It is illegal for minors to be in possession of tobacco, to smoke in public or to purchase tobacco products. It is illegal to sell or distribute tobacco to anyone under the age of 18 years.
 Kansas None 18[111] It is illegal to sell or supply tobacco to a minor. Minors may not possess or purchase or attempt to possess or purchase tobacco.
None 21[112]
Nineteen cities in Kansas, including Overland Park and Olathe, have raised their tobacco sales age to 21.
 Kentucky None 18[113] It is illegal to sell or supply tobacco to minors. Minors may not purchase or possess tobacco products. Prior to 1990 Kentucky had no minimum age to purchase tobacco. From 1990 until 1992 the minimum age was 16 years.
In 1992 the age was raised from 16 to 18 years of age.[94]
 Louisiana None 18[114] It is illegal to sell or distribute tobacco to a minor. A minor is not permitted to possess tobacco, except in private residences or if accompanied by a parent, spouse, or legal guardian 21 years of age or older.
Prior to 1991 there was no minimum age limit in Louisiana.
 Maine 18[115] 21[116] It is illegal to sell or distribute tobacco to a minor. A minor is not permitted to possess tobacco, except in private residences or if accompanied by a parent, spouse, or legal guardian 21 years of age or older. Implementation for 21 and older July 2018.
 Maryland None 18[117][118] Minimum age raised from 16 to 18 in 1989.[94]
 Massachusetts None 18[119] It is illegal to sell tobacco to minors. Anyone else than the parents or guardian are prohibited from giving any form of tobacco to a minor.
None 21[120]
Over 100 cities in Massachusetts, including Boston, have raised their sales age for tobacco products to 21 years.
 Michigan 18[121] It is illegal to sell, give, supply or otherwise provide tobacco to minors. Minors may not purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, attempt to possess or consume tobacco products in public. Minors are permitted to smoke on private premises.
18 21[122]
Ann Arbor and Genesee County have raised their tobacco sales age to 21.
 Minnesota 18[123] It is illegal to sell, give, supply or otherwise provide tobacco to minors. Minors may not purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, attempt to possess or consume tobacco products in public. Indian may furnish tobacco to an Indian under the age of 18 years if the tobacco is furnished as part of a traditional Indian spiritual or cultural ceremony.
18 21[124]
Four cities in Minnesota have raised their sales age for tobacco products to 21.
 Mississippi 18[125] It is illegal to sell, give, supply or otherwise provide tobacco to minors. Minors may not purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, attempt to possess or consume tobacco products in public.
18 21[126]
Adams County has raised their tobacco sales age to 21.
 Missouri None 18[127] It is illegal to sell, give, supply or otherwise provide tobacco to minors. It is not illegal to give tobacco to minors on private premises nor is it illegal for minors to smoke in public.
Prior to 1992 Missouri did not have a minimum age limit.[94]
None 21[128]
Twelve cities in Missouri, including Kansas City, St. Louis and Jefferson City, have raised their tobacco sales age to 21.
 Montana None 18[129] Sale or distribution of tobacco products to persons under 18 years of age is prohibited, whether over the counter, by vending machine, or otherwise.
Prior to 1993 there was no minimum age limit.[94]
 Nebraska 18[130][131] It is illegal to sell, give or furnish, in any way tobacco to a minor. Minors may not smoke in public.
 Nevada None 18[132]
 New Hampshire 18[133] It is illegal to sell, give, supply or otherwise provide tobacco to minors. Minors may not purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, attempt to possess or consume tobacco products in public.
 New Jersey None 21[134] No person shall sell, give or furnish to a person under 21 years of age, any cigarettes made of tobacco.
The minimum age of 16 years was introduced in 1904.
The minimum age was raised from 16 to 18 in 1988.
The minimum age was raised from 18 to 19 in 2005.
The minimum age was raised from 19 to 21 on 1 November 2017.[80]
 New Mexico None 18[135] Prior to 1991 New Mexico had no minimum age.
 New York None 18[136] It is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years.
None 21[137] New York City (among others) and come counties have raised the sales age for tobacco products to 21.
 North Carolina None 18[138] It is illegal for anyone under age 18 to buy, attempt to buy, to receive, or to use a false or misleading proof of age for the purpose of purchasing or receiving any tobacco product or cigarette wrapping papers.
The minimum age of 17 years was introduced in 1891.
The minimum age was raised from 17 to 18 in 1991.[80][94]
  North Dakota 18[139]
 Northern Mariana Islands 18 It is illegal to sell and supply tobacco to a minor.
 Ohio 18[140]
None 21[141]
Nine cities in Ohio, including Cleveland and Columbus, have raised their tobacco sales age to 21.
 Oklahoma None 18[142] It is illegal to sell, give or otherwise supply tobacco to anyone under the age of 18 years.
The minimum age of 18 years was introduced in 1915.
 Oregon None 21[143] It is illegal to sell, give or otherwise supply tobacco to anyone under the age of 21 years since 1 January 2018.
 Pennsylvania None 18[144] It is illegal to sell, furnish, give or otherwise provide tobacco to a minor. Minors may not purchase or attempt to purchase tobacco products.
The minimum age of 16 years was introduced in 1972.
The minimum age was raised from 16 to 18 in 1990.[80][94]
 Puerto Rico None 18
 Rhode Island 18[145][146] No person under eighteen years of age shall purchase, nor shall any person sell, give, or deliver to any person under eighteen years of age, any tobacco products. No person under eighteen years of age shall use or possess, tobacco in any public street, place, or resort, any tobacco and/or electronic nicotine delivery system in any form.
The minimum age of 16 years was introduced in 1896.
The minimum age was raised from 16 to 18 in 1988.[80]
18 21[147] Barrington and Central Falls have raised their sales age for tobacco products to 21 years.
 South Carolina None 18[148] It is illegal to sell, give or otherwise supply tobacco to anyone under the age of 18 years. It is illegal for minors to purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, or attempt to possess a tobacco product, or present or offer proof of age that is false or fraudulent for the purpose of purchasing or possessing a tobacco product.
 South Dakota None 18 Prior to 1989 South Dakota didn't regulate the sale of cigarettes to minors. Only smokeless tobacco products could not be sold to coal minors.
 Tennessee None 18[149] It is unlawful for a person who has not attained 18 years of age to possess a tobacco product, to purchase or accept receipt of a tobacco product, or to present or offer to any person any purported proof of age which is false, fraudulent, or not actually that person's own for the purpose of purchasing or receiving any tobacco product.
 Texas 18[150] It is illegal to sell, give, supply or otherwise provide tobacco to minors. Minors may not purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, attempt to possess or consume tobacco products in public. Exception: The individual younger than 18 years of age possessed the cigarette or tobacco product in the presence of an adult parent, a guardian, or a spouse of the individual or an employer of the individual, if possession or receipt of the tobacco product is required in the performance of the employee's duties as an employee.
The minimum age to purchase, possess and consume tobacco was 16 years of age from 1899 to 1989.[94]
18 21[151] San Antonio has raised its sales age for tobacco products to 21.
 United States Virgin Islands None 18 [152]
 Utah 19[153] It is illegal to sell, supply, give or otherwise furnish tobacco products or smoking devices to anyone under the age of 19 years. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 19 years to possess, consume, purchase any tobacco product.
 Vermont None 18[154] It is illegal to sell, supply, give or otherwise furnish tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 years to possess or purchase tobacco products.
The minimum age of 17 years was introduced in 1888.
The minimum age was raised from 17 to 18 in 1991.[80][94]
 Virginia 18[155] It is illegal to sell, supply, give or otherwise furnish tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 years to possess or purchase tobacco products.
Prior to 1991 the minimum age to purchase tobacco products was 16 years of age.[94]
 Washington None 18[156] It is illegal to sell, give or permit to sell or give tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. It is not illegal for minors to possess or consume tobacco products in public.
 Washington, D.C. None 21[157] It is illegal to sell, give or permit to sell or give tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21 years. It is not illegal for minors to possess or consume tobacco products in public. Tobacco use is prohibited at organized sporting events.
The minimum age of 16 years was introduced in 1891.
The minimum age was raised from 16 to 18 in 1990.[80][94]
The minimum age was raised from 18 to 21 in 2016.
 West Virginia 18[158] It is illegal to sell, supply, give or otherwise furnish tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 years to possess, consume or purchase tobacco products.
 Wisconsin None 18[159] It is illegal to sell, give or permit to sell or give tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. It is not illegal for minors to possess or consume tobacco products in public.
 Wyoming 18[160] It is illegal to sell, supply, give or otherwise furnish tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 years to possess, consume or purchase tobacco products.
Prior to 1991 Wyoming had no minimum purchase/sale age for tobacco products.[94]
 Uruguay None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco to a minor. A clearly legible notice with the sale ban to under anyone under the age of 18 years has to be placed inside and outside the premises.[161]
 Venezuela None 18 It is illegal to sell or supply tobacco products to a minor.[162]

Asia[edit]

Country De jure Notes
Smoking age Purchase age
 Afghanistan 18 It is illegal to sell, give or otherwise furnish tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. It is illegal to smoke or the use of tobacco in public buildings such as hospitals, schools and restaurants.[163]
 Bhutan Illegal In 2004, Bhutan became the first country to ban the sale, cultivation, and production of tobacco. People 18 and over may bring a limited amount of tobacco into Bhutan if they pay import duties.
 Brunei 18 It is illegal to sell, give or otherwise furnish tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. It is illegal for minors to possess, buy or consume tobacco products.[164]
 Bangladesh 16 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 16 years. Any police-officer in uniform or any other person or class of persons duty authorized by the Government has the power to seize and destroy tobacco products of anyone under the age of 16 years whom he finds smoking in public.[165]
 Cambodia None 18 Any act of selling or distributing all types of tobacco products to persons aged under 18 years or to pregnant women whose pregnancy is obvious or is realized must be punished with six days to one month in prison and a fine of 100,000 riel to 1 million riel.[166]
 China None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to minors. No one shall smoke on school or education premises. Weakly enforced to not enforced.
No age limit prior to 29 December 2006.[167]
 Hong Kong 18 It is illegal to sell, give or otherwise furnish tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years.[168]
 India None 18 It is illegal to sell cigarettes or any other tobacco product to a person under the age of 18 years. It is illegal to sell tobacco within a radius of one hundred yards of any educational institution.[169]
 Indonesia None 18 It is illegal to sell and supply tobacco products to pregnant women or anyone under the age of 18 years.[170]
 Iran None 18 It is illegal to sell and supply tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. Violation will result in confiscation of tobacco from the minor and a fine for the salesperson.[171]
 Iraq 14
 Israel None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to a minor.
No minimum age prior to 12 November 2004.[172]
 Jordan None
18 (consumption of water pipes on premises)
18 It is illegal to sell tobacco to a minor. It is also illegal to provide water pipes in cafes, restaurants and similar places.[173]
 Japan 20 It is illegal to supply tobacco to persons under 20 years. It is punishable by a ¥10,000 fine.[174]
 Kazakhstan None 18 [175]
 Kuwait None 21 It is illegal to sell or give tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21 years.[176]
 Kyrgyzstan None 18 No minor shall sell or be sold tobacco products.[177]
 Lebanon 18 18 It is illegal to sell or distribute tobacco to a minor.[178]
 Macau None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco to a person under the age of 18 years. It is not illegal for a minor to smoke or to obtain tobacco from a person of the legal age.[179]
 Malaysia None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to a minor.[180]
 Maldives None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. The retailer must ensure that the buyer is at least 18 years of age. Furthermore, a clearly legible notice has to be displayed at point of sale stating that tobacco sales to minors are illegal.[181]
 Mongolia 21
   Nepal None 18 It is illegal to sell or distribute tobacco products to minors and pregnant women.[182]
 North Korea None 17 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to a minor.[183] (The tobacco law does not define the word "minor", but age of majority is reached at the age of 17 years).
 Oman 18
 Pakistan None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco to a person under the age of 18 years. A clearly legible notice with the sale restriction has to be placed at point of sale.[184]
 Palestine 14
 Philippines 18 Only people over 18 may buy cigarettes and tobacco due to the "STOP for Health Act". (Stop Tobacco and Other Products for Health)[185]
 Qatar None 18 It is illegal to sell cigarettes or any other tobacco to a person unter the age of 18 years.[186]
 Saudi Arabia 18
 Singapore 18 Smoking age in Singapore is currently 18, increasing to 19 by 2019 and 21 by 2021.
It is illegal to sell or give, directly or indirectly any tobacco product to a person under the age of 18 years. No minor is allowed to consume or possess any tobacco product in public.[187]
 South Korea 19 20 [188]
 Sri Lanka None 21 It is the law to sell any tobacco product to a person under the age of 21 years.[189]
 Syria None 18 It is unlawful to sell or give tobacco to a person under the age of 18 years.[190]
 Taiwan 18 It is illegal to sell or provide tobacco to persons under the age of 18 years. It is illegal to force, induce or use other means to cause a pregnant woman to smoke. It is illegal for a pregnant women or a minor to smoke. No penalty is provided for pregnant women who smoke.[191]
 Tajikistan 14
 Thailand None 18 [192]
 Turkmenistan Illegal In January 2016, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedow reportedly banned tobacco sales in Turkmenistan.[193]
 United Arab Emirates 18
 Vietnam 18 It is illegal for people less than 18 years of age use, buy, and sell tobacco products. It is illegal to sell and supply tobacco product to people less than 18 years of age.[194]
 Yemen 14¿₡₯₠

Europe[edit]

Minimum age to purchase tobacco in Europe as of 2015:
  Minimum age is 18
  Minimum age is 16
  Depending on jurisdiction

Note: Regulation by canton in Switzerland is below.
Minimum age to purchase tobacco in Switzerland by canton as of 2015:
  Minimum age is 18
  Minimum age is 16
  No minimum age
Country De jure Notes
Smoking age Purchase age
 Albania None 18 It is illegal to sell or supply tobacco products to minors under the age of 18 years.[195]
 Armenia None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco products anyone under the age of 18 years. Minors may not sell tobacco products.[196]
No minimum age prior to 24 December 2004.
 Austria 16 The minimum age is regulated by each federal state, but is nationwide 16 years. It is illegal in every state to sell or give tobacco products to a person under the age of 16 years as well as the consumption by a person under the age of 16 years in any public place.[197]
 Azerbaijan None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. The packaging of tobacco products must contain a warning that sale to minors is prohibited.[198]
No minimum age prior to 1 January 2002.
 Belarus None 18 (Decree No. 28 of 2002 Section 32. "It is banned to sell tobacco products to citizens (by citizens) of the Republic of Belarus, foreign citizens and individuals with no citizenship under 18 years old.")[199]
 Belgium None 16 ("It is forbidden to sell tobacco products to young people under the age of 16 and advertising for tobacco products is forbidden.")[200]
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 18 It is illegal to sell and gift tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. It is illegal for minors under the age of 18 years to gift, sell and consume tobacco products.[201]
The minimum age was 15 years prior to 28 September 2004.
No minimum age prior to 9 March 1998.[202]
 Bulgaria None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years.[203]
 Croatia None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to minors. It is the responsibility of any salesperson to ensure that no tobacco is sold to minors and therefore to request an ID to make sure that the purchaser is at least 18 years of age. Minors may not sell tobacco products.[204]
 Cyprus None 18 It is illegal to sell or otherwise provide tobacco products to a minor.
"(…)any person who provides a tobacco product to a minor is guilty of offense and in any case of his/her conviction, he/she shall be subject to a penalty not exceeding one thousand pounds or to incarceration not exceeding six months and/or to both penalties."[205]
 Czech Republic None 18 Selling tobacco products to anyone under 18 is prohibited. Sale of tobacco products and tobacco through vending machines is permitted if the tobacco purchase age is not violated. The seller shall place a clearly visible notice displaying the sale restrictions of tobacco to person under the age of 18. A person selling tobacco must be 18 years or older, unless the minor is preparing for a future career in the hotel or tourism industry, as a cook-waiter or salesman. However, it is very easy to get tobacco products for minors as many sellers don't check the age.[206]
The minimum age was 16 years prior to 2 September 1999.[207]
 Denmark None 18 The minimum age was 16 years prior to 1 September 2008.[208]
 Estonia 18 The minimum age to purchase tobacco products or to smoke in public is set at 18. Minors may not be in possession of, or handle tobacco products.[209]
 Finland 18 Prior to October 2010 it was not illegal for minors to smoke in public.
The minimum age was 16 years prior to 1 March 1995.[210]
 France None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. Minors under the age of 18 years may not smoke in any school or on school property.[211] Vending machines outside a tobacco shop is prohibited.
Prior to 21 July 2009 the minimum age to purchase tobacco products was 16 years of age.
 Georgia None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to minors under the age of 18.[212]
 Germany 18 The Protection of Young Persons Act states that children and young people under 18 years of age shall not be sold tobacco products nor should they be permitted to smoke in public. This does not apply to married adolescents.[213]
Minimum age was 18 from 10 June 1943 until 1 January 1952.[214]
Minimum age was 16 from 1 January 1952 to 1 September 2007.[215]
 Gibraltar 18 It is illegal to sell and furnish tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. Any police officer may confiscate tobacco from a minor in public.[216]
The minimum age was 16 years prior to 7 July 2006.[217]
 Greece None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco to minors.[218]
 Hungary 18 It is illegal to sell or supply tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18. It is illegal to smoke under the age of 18. The sale of tobacco is prohibited within 200 m of schools and health care units.
 Iceland None 18 It is illegal to sell or deliver tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. Minors may not handle or sell tobacco products.[219]
No minimum age prior to 1 January 1985.
The minimum age was 16 years from 1 January 1985 to 1 October 1996.[220]
 Ireland 18 The sale of tobacco to persons under 18 is illegal. It is illegal to buy or smoke cigarettes if you are under the age of 18.[221]
The minimum age was 16 years prior to 27 March 2002.[222]
 Italy None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. Violation is punished with a fine between €250.00 and €1000.00. If the law is violated more than once the fine is increased to €500.00 and €2,000.00 and a revocation of the tobacco license for at least 3 months.[223][224]

Minimum age for electronic cigarettes was 16 prior to 1 May 2013.[225]
 Kosovo[a] None [226]
 Latvia 18 The sale of tobacco products to persons under the age of 18 is prohibited.[227]
 Liechtenstein 16 It is illegal for anyone under the age of 16 to possess or consume tobacco products.[228]
 Lithuania 18 No minimum age to smoke prior to 1 May 2015.
 Luxembourg None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years.[229][230]
No minimum age prior to 1 January 2006.
Minimum purchase age increased from 16 to 18 on 1 August 2017.
 Macedonia None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco to anyone under the age of 18 years.[231]
 Malta None 18 "No person shall sell, supply or distribute by way of compensation or otherwise, any cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, tobacco products or smoking requisites to any person who is under the age of 18 years, or in any manner induce such person to smoke."[232]
 Moldova None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco to anyone under the age of 18 years.[233]
 Montenegro None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco to anyone under the age of 18. A poster with the sale restrictions must be placed at point of sale.[234]
 Netherlands None 18 The sale of tobacco to persons under 18 is illegal.[235] Smoking of tobacco is prohibited by law in all public buildings and in public transport. As of 1 January 2004 every employee has the right to work in a smoke-free environment. All forms of tobacco advertising, promotion or sponsorship are prohibited. Smoking remains prevalent in the Netherlands despite these efforts. Tobacco can be bought at every supermarket and at other stores.
 Norway None 18 No age limit for use of tobacco but no sales of cigarettes or Swedish snus to people under 18 by law.[236] Vending machines are only allowed when they are cited inside an approved store, with a demand of buying a receipt from the cashier first.[236] and imitation tobacco products are not allowed. Cigarette commercials are also strictly forbidden by law. As of June 2004, smoking is prohibited in all public places, including restaurants, pubs and work places.
 Poland None 18 Minors are not allowed to buy tobacco products.[237]
 Portugal 18 It is illegal to sell or give any tobacco product to a minor as well as the consumption of a tobacco product in any public place by a minor. There is a proposition to ban vending machines in places accessible to people younger than 18.[238]
Minimum age was 16 prior to 1 January 2008.
 Romania None 18 There is a ban on sale of tobacco to those younger than 18. Vending machines selling tobacco are banned. There is no minimum legal age of smoking.
 Russia None 18 Retail sales of tobacco products to any person under the age of 18 years are an offence.[239]
 Serbia None 18 The sale to persons under 18 is prohibited. Contrary to that, a lot of salesmen sell cigarettes to minors in Serbia. Acquiring tobacco products is very easy for minors despite the law.
 Slovakia None 18 Tobacco sales to under 18 year olds are prohibited.[240]
 Slovenia None 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco to anyone under the age of 18. ID-Card or passport has to be shown if requested.[241]
 Spain None 18 It is illegal to sell any tobacco product or other smoking substances (e.g. electronic cigarettes) to a person under the age of 18 years.[242]
Minimum age was 16 in most regions prior to 1 January 2006.
 Sweden None 18 It is illegal to sell or commercially distribute tobacco to a person under the age of 18 years.[243]
No minimum age prior to 1 January 1997.
  Switzerland
 Turkey None 18
 Ukraine 14 18
 United Kingdom

18 (purchase de jure) 16 (public possession & purchase de facto)

 England and  Wales:
It is illegal to sell tobacco to anyone under the age of 18.[265] The minimum age to smoke in public is 16 and authorities have the duty to seize any tobacco or cigarette papers in the possession of any person apparently under the age of 16.[266]
Minimum age to purchase was 16 from 1908 to 1 October 2007.

No minimum age prior to 1908.

18  Scotland:
A person who sells a tobacco product or cigarette papers to a person under the age of 18 commits an offence. Any person under the age of 18 who buys or attempts to buy a tobacco product or cigarette papers commits an offence as well as an adult who knowlingly buys a tobacco product or cigarette papers on behalf of a person under the age of 18.[267] Any constable who has reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person in a public place is under the age of 18, and in possession of a tobacco product or cigarette papers may require the person to surrender the tobacco product.[268]
Minimum age was 16 prior to 30 September 2007.
18 Northern Ireland:
A person who sells to a person under the age of 18 any tobacco or cigarette papers, whether for his own use or not, shall be guilty of an offence. A member of the Police Service of Northern Ireland may seize any tobacco or cigarette papers in the possession of any person apparently under the age of 18 whom he finds smoking in any street or public place.[269]
Minimum age was 16 prior to 1 September 2008.
  1. ^ Disputed.

Oceania[edit]

Country De jure Notes
Smoking age Purchase age
 Australia
 Fiji None 18 It is illegal to sell and supply tobacco to a minor.[281]
 Micronesia, Federated States of 18 It is illegal to sell and supply tobacco to a minor.
 New Zealand None 18 It is illegal to sell and supply tobacco to a minor under 18 years.[282]
No minimum age prior to 1903.
Minimum age of 15 years from 1903 to 1988.
Minimum age of 16 years from 1988 to 1998.[283][284]'
 Palau None 18
21 (Only rolling papers and elaus)
It is illegal to sell or give tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years. If the purchaser appears to be under the age of 30 years, ID must be checked before sale. It is illegal to employ anyone under the age of 21 handling tobacco products. It is illegal to sell rolling papers and elaus to anyone under the age of 21 years.[285]
 Papua New Guinea None 18 It is illegal to sell or give tobacco to a person under the age of 18 years.[286]
 Samoa 21 It is illegal to sell tobacco to anyone under the age of 21 years. It is not illegal for a person under the age of 21 years to possess or smoke tobacco in public.[287]
 Solomon Islands None 18 It is illegal to sell, give or otherwise supply tobacco to a minor.[288]
 Tonga None 18 It is illegal to sell, give or otherwise supply tobacco to a minor.[289]
 Tokelau 16 It is illegal for a person under 16 to smoke tobacco.[290]
 Vanuatu 18 It is illegal to sell tobacco to a persons under 18. It is illegal for persons under 18 to smoke tobacco.[291]

Historical regulations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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