Measuring the Impact of Age-Restricted Sales Regulations



The sales of certain products, such as tobacco and fireworks, are subject to regulations concerning the age of the purchaser, typically requiring them to be aged over 16 years — or in some cases over 18. These are known as 'age-restricted sales' and their regulation is the role of local authorities, under a new code of practice from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO, formerly the Local Better Regulation Office, LBRO) commissioned RAND Europe to support the local measurement of impacts and outcomes arising from delivery of local regulation in six areas of age-restricted sales (alcohol; tobacco; knives; fireworks; sun beds; and gambling). This assignment builds upon work previously conducted by RAND Europe for the LBRO, which resulted in the Impacts and Outcomes Toolkit that is now being used in over half the local authorities in England.


The aim was to produce a toolkit for local authorities designed to make regulation of the business environment more consistent and easier to navigate, and provide a means to track the impact of local authority regulation in these topic areas.

Some of the areas of age-restricted sales are relatively new within the regulatory landscape, while others operate in an increasingly complex regulatory environment. For example, sun beds are covered by relatively new legislation while gambling applies a two-tier regulatory regime in relation to licensing and test purchasing.

Methods used in the study included expert consultation, workshops and validation.


RAND Europe developed a specialised toolkit to assist those working in the area to determine the most appropriate measures for the progress of their work. Researchers also delivered a workshop in each topic to specialists from local authorities across the country.


Project Team

Emily Scraggs, project leader
Ben Baruch
Nathalie Collomb
Michael Frearson
Benoit Guerin