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Two Hamilton Retail Outlets Fail Compliance Test

For immediate release


Date: May 7, 2008

Two Hamilton Retail Outlets Fail Compliance Test

A Hamilton service station employee and a dairy owner are facing possible prosecution and a fine of up to $2000 after selling cigarettes to people under 18.

Waikato District Health Board's Population Health Service health protection staff visited 26 retail premises in Hamilton at the weekend, in a campaign to stop retailers selling cigarettes to people under age.

Supermarkets, service stations and dairies were targeted under the Smokefree Environments Act 1990.

Population Health Service health protection advisor Nick Young said staff at 24 of the premises visited followed correct procedure and refused to sell cigarettes to the two 15-year-old volunteers.

The volunteers were instructed to give their correct age when asked.

Mr Young will contact the retailers involved to advise them of their employees' performance.

However, one service station employee and one dairy owner sold cigarettes to the volunteers and reports on these cases will now be sent to the Ministry of Health in Wellington.

The likely result for these retail outlets will be a warning or district court prosecution. Mr Young said further operations of this nature would be conducted on an ongoing basis and employers and their staff members needed to ensure they were fully familiar with their obligations under the act.

ENDS


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