News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Local cigarette retailers continue to break law

Local cigarette retailers continuing to break the law

Two local cigarette retailers approached during a recent purchase operation broke the law and sold cigarettes to minors. Tairawhiti District Health Public Health Unit commissioned the controlled purchase operation on Saturday 8 November and it resulted in two cigarette sales to underage volunteers, from 29 purchase attempts.

Public Health Unit Service Manager Tom Scott said results of the operation were an improvement on the last controlled purchase operation, but there was still work to be done.

“Earlier this year a controlled purchase operation saw four retailers break the law. Those retailers are awaiting prosecution.”

“Since then, despite attempts at educating local retailers, and a reminder that the purchase operation might be carried out, we still had two local retailers break the law.”

On the positive side however, Mr Scott said he was pleased that retailers operating in areas of Gisborne where smoking is prevalent, had refused sales to the underage volunteers.

“Many young people who smoke begin before the age of 16, and many illegally purchase their cigarettes from a shop. If they continue smoking half will die early from a smoking-related disease.” The Smoke-Free Environments Act 1990 bans the sale of cigarettes to minors under the age of 18. Mr Scott said the PHU has overseen five purchase operations in the past four and a half years. During each operation, which uses underage actors to attempt to purchase cigarettes, between 20 and 40 retailers were randomly visited. Each operation had seen between two and four retailers break the law. “Although the sample size of retailers visited this time was small, it is disappointing that two retailers illegally sold cigarettes. In Tairawhiti, where smoking is one of the biggest killers of our local people, there should be absolute adherence to the law.

“We know that refusing sales of cigarettes to young people is tough if they get abusive, but there is the law to comply with.”

“If we can move to a culture where young people don’t bother trying because no one sells cigarettes to them, then it will be easier for everyone”.

Mr Scott said retailers must ask for identification from anyone they consider too young to be buying cigarettes. Retailers who do this, will have no cause for concern. He added that Public Health Unit staff would continue to visit to retailers, offer further education, and give them signs to display regarding the law. “Because of the continued sales of cigarettes to minors further controlled purchase operations will also continue.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland