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Tobacco retailers still selling cigarettes to minors

Tobacco retailers still selling cigarettes to minors

A recent tobacco Controlled Purchase Operation (CPO) carried out in Inglewood, Stratford and New Plymouth showed most retailers in these areas were operating in compliance with the Smoke Free Environment Act and did not sell tobacco products or herbal smoking products to minors.

Carly Twaddle, Taranaki DHB’s Smokefree Enforcement Officer said, “Twenty-two tobacco retailers were visited by underage volunteers, each who were briefed to give their correct age if asked. Staff from 20 of these tobacco retailers refused to sell cigarettes to the underage volunteers, however two sales were made to a 17 year old volunteer.”

“As a consequence these retailers have been issued an infringement notice and a $500 fine for selling cigarettes to a minor under the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990.”

“Ideally we would have liked there to be no sales at all, but we are pleased that the majority of retailers asked the volunteers for their ID.”

Ms Twaddle adds “Retailers are advised to always ask anyone who looks younger than 25 years for identification when selling tobacco or herbal smoking products. The only acceptable forms of identification are a New Zealand drivers licence, passport, or a suitable 18+ card.”

All businesses selling tobacco products need be certain of their obligations under the Act, and pass on this important information to staff members.

Taranaki DHB’s Public Health Unit will continue to educate and monitor retailers of tobacco products with similar compliance checks in the future.


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