In 1999, the sale of tobacco products to those under 16 was banned in the UK, Ireland and Spain and in three of the nine Austrian provinces. In Sweden and Finland the ban was aimed at those under 18. There was no minimum age in Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece and Portugal.
In 1999, the use of automatic vending machines was banned in Belgium and subject to restrictions in Ireland. These machines were not to be found in Greece, and they virtually disappeared from France. In Spain and the UK vending machines had to be in private clubs. Vending machines were allowed in Finland, but only under constant adult surveillance; in Sweden they had to be in private clubs from which those under 18 years of age are banned. In Germany, the firms which handle vending machines had to take care to install them at least 50 metres from schools and youth centres, under the terms of agreements reached with the authorities.
In 1999, the sale of cigarettes in packets of fewer than 20 units was banned in Ireland and Belgium. In Denmark, cigarettes were on sale in packets of 10. In Sweden, packets of 3 and 5 cigarettes made their appearance whenever new brands were launched. In the UK the sale of packets containing fewer than 20 cigarettes was allowed, provided that the packets contained a minimum of 10 cigarettes.