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Pat on back for refusal to sell tobacco to teens

MEDIA RELEASE 7 DECEMBER 2006


Pat on the back for Taupo and Turangi retailers refusing to sell tobacco to teenagers

A Ministry of Health controlled purchase operation (CPO) conducted by Toi Te Ora – Public Health has been a success in Taupo and Turangi.

A 14-year-old volunteer attempted to buy cigarettes from 16 retailers on Saturday 11 November. Each retailer asked the volunteer for identification and when she didn’t show it, refused to sell her tobacco.

“It’s a very positive outcome – it’s great to know retailers understand the law around selling tobacco,” says Toi Te Ora – Public Health Designated Smokefree Officer Dawn Pickering-Meertens. “Any person who knowingly sells tobacco to someone under 18 is liable for a $2000 fine.

A CPO was also carried out in Rotorua at four premises on the same day. One of the four retailers involved sold cigarettes to the minor.

“This is quite disappointing and the retailer will be prosecuted,” says Dawn Pickering-Meertens. “Another CPO will be held early next year.”

Last month’s CPOs are the first conducted in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes region by local Designated Smokefree Officers, a position set up under the Smokefree Act. The role of a Designated Smokefree Officer is to react to complaints from the public around smoking in workplaces, licensed premises and retailers selling tobacco to people under 18.


ENDS

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