Purchase restrictions

Beginning on April 1, 1998, the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to people under the state purchase age has been prohibited by law in all 50 states of the United States. The age is 19 in Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey, Utah, and Nassau, Suffolk, and Onondaga counties in New York.[53][54] The intended effect of this is to prevent older high school students from purchasing cigarettes for their younger peers. Legislation was pending as of 2004 in some other states. In Massachusetts,[55] parents and guardians are allowed to give cigarettes to minors, but sales to minors are prohibited. Similar laws exist in many other countries. In Canada, most of the provinces require smokers to be 19 years of age to purchase cigarettes (except for Quebec and the prairie provinces, where the age is 18). However, the minimum age only concerns the purchase of tobacco, not use. Alberta, however, does have a law which prohibits the possession or use of tobacco products by all persons under 18, punishable by a $100 fine. Australia, New Zealand, Poland and Pakistan have a nationwide ban on the selling of all tobacco products to people under the age of 18. Tabak-Trafik in Vienna. Since 1 January 2007, all cigarette machines in Austria must attempt to verify a customer's age by requiring the insertion of a debit card or mobile phone verification. Since 1 October 2007, it has been illegal for retailers to sell tobacco in all forms to people under the age of 18 in three of the UK's four constituent countries (England, Wales and Scotland) (rising from 16). It is also illegal to sell lighters, rolling papers and all other tobacco-associated items to people under 18. It is not illegal for people under 18 to buy or smoke tobacco, just as it was not previously for people under 16; it is only illegal for the said retailer to sell the item. The age increase from 16 to 18 came into force in Northern Ireland on 1 September 2008. In the Republic of Ireland, bans on the sale of the smaller ten-packs and confectionery that resembles tobacco products (candy cigarettes) ca

e into force on May 31, 2007 in a bid to cut underaged smoking. Most countries in the world have a legal vending age of 18. Some exceptions are Macedonia, Italy, Malta, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands, where the age is 16. Since January 1, 2007, all cigarette machines in public places in Germany must attempt to verify a customer's age by requiring the insertion of a debit card. Turkey, which has one of the highest percentage of smokers in its population,[56] has a legal age of 18. Japan is one of the highest tobacco-consuming nations, and requires purchasers to be 20 years of age (suffrage in Japan is 20 years old).[57] Since July 2008, Japan has enforced this age limit at cigarette vending machines through use of the taspo smart card. In other countries, such as Egypt, it is legal to use and purchase tobacco products regardless of age.[citation needed] Germany raised the purchase age from 16 to 18 on the 1 September 2007. Some police departments in the United States occasionally send an underaged teenager into a store where cigarettes are sold, and have the teen attempt to purchase cigarettes, with their own or no ID. If the vendor then completes the sale, the store is issued a fine.[58] Similar enforcement practices are regularly performed by Trading Standards Officers in the UK and the Gardai Siochana, the police force of the Republic of Ireland. Smoking in Japan is much less restricted than in many other nations, and Japan accounts for much of the tobacco consumption in Asia. Nearly 30 million people smoke in Japan, making the country one of the world's largest tobacco markets. Japan is one of the last industrialized nations in the world where adult smoking is still widespread; statistics show Japanese men smoke at one of the highest rates in the world in 2002. As of 2010, the total smoking rate is 24%, 36.6% of Japanese men and 12.1% of Japanese women; this is the lowest recorded figure since Japan Tobacco began surveying in 1965. The law prohibits the smoking of cigarettes by persons under the age of twenty.