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Health Act 2009

Section 22:  Power to prohibit sales from vending machines

277.Subsection (1) of Section 22 inserts a new section 3A (sales from vending machines in England and Wales) into the Children and Young Persons (Protection from Tobacco) Act 1991 (“the 1991 Act). New section 3A provides power for the appropriate national authority (defined as the Secretary of State in relation to England, and the Welsh Ministers in relation to Wales) by regulations to prohibit the sale of tobacco from vending machines.

278.The regulations must include provision as to the persons who are liable for a breach of a prohibition. Where a prohibition contained in the regulations is breached, any person liable in accordance with the regulations is guilty of an offence punishable with a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale (currently £2,500). Subsection (5) of the new section 3A applies sections 13 (enforcement), 14 (powers of entry, etc) and 15 (offences of obstruction, etc of officers) of the 2002 Act for the purposes of the new section. Section 13 of the 2002 Act sets out the authorities who will be responsible for enforcing any prohibition; section 14 sets out the powers of entry which enforcement officers may exercise; and section 15 makes obstructing an officer of an enforcement body, or making false statements to an officer, an offence.

279.Subsection (2) of section 22 inserts a new paragraph (c) into section 12D(1) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (restricted premises orders and restricted sales orders: interpretation). This extends the definition of “tobacco offence” for the purposes of sections 12A and 12B of that Act to include an offence committed under the new section 3A of the 1991 Act. The effect of this is to enable a magistrates’ court to impose a restricted premises order or a restricted sales order in response to breaches of the new section 3A, where the conditions for imposing such orders are met. Under sections 12A and 12B if three “tobacco offences” are committed within a period of two years, and if the last of them led to a conviction, then the offender or the relevant premises may be banned from selling tobacco products for up to one year.

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