July 29, 2008
Four Waikato Retail Outlets Fail Compliance Test
Three Cambridge retail employees and a Morrinsville dairy employee face possible prosecution and a fine of up to $2000 after selling cigarettes to people under 18.
Waikato District Health Board's Population Health Service staff visited 17 supermarkets, service stations and dairies at the weekend in a campaign to stop retailers selling cigarettes to underage people, under the Smokefree Environments Act 1990.
Two Cambridge service station staff, a Cambridge superette employee and Morrinsville dairy employee failed compliance during the visit.
Health protection advisor Nick Young said staff at 13 of the premises followed correct procedure and refused to sell cigarettes to the two 15-year-old volunteers.
The volunteers are briefed to give their correct age when asked.
Mr Young will contact those retailers whose staff complied with the legislation to advise them of their employees' performance.
However, the Ministry of Health in Wellington, will receive reports about the four outlets that failed to comply with legislation.
The likely result for these retail outlets will be a warning or a district court prosecution.
Mr Young said he was disappointed at the level of non-compliance (23.5 per cent) and that further operations of this nature would continue in the Waikato.
"Employers and their staff members needed to ensure they were fully familiar with their obligations under the act."