Teen sold cigarettes
A 15-year-old volunteer was sold tobacco during a recent controlled purchase operation carried out by MidCentral DHB Public Health Services. The Ashhurst Service Centre and two Whanganui retailers were each issued with a $500 infringement fine from the Ministry of Health. There were 23 retailers in Palmerston North, Ashhurst and Whanganui who did not sell to a volunteer. Midcentral DHB says retailers have been advised not to rely on appearances, and if they look under 25, ask for ID. “Eradicating the sale of tobacco to minors is an important step towards achieving a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025.” To date, the region has 10 retailers who have chosen to stop selling tobacco completely. While smoking rates in New Zealand continue to trend downward, about 605,000 New Zealand adults still smoke. Tobacco use and breathing in other people’s smoke (second-hand smoke) causes about 5000 deaths every year through cancer, stroke and heart disease. It’s the leading cause of preventable death in New Zealand.