Retailers stung for under-age tobacco sales
Two Tokoroa retailers are facing possible prosecution and a fine of up to $2000 each after selling cigarettes to a person under 18 years of age.
Waikato District Health Board’s Population Health staff visited 28 retail premises in Tokoroa and Putaruru last week in a campaign to stop retailers selling tobacco to people under age.
The premises targeted had all been previously visited by Health Protection and Promotion staff a few weeks ago at which time they reinforced the need for identification and age checks
Population Health Smokefree enforcement officer Nick Young said staff at 26 of the premises visited had followed correct procedures and refused to sell cigarettes to the 15-year-old volunteer who was briefed to give their correct age when asked.
Mr Young will contact retailers whose staff complied with the legislation to advise them of their employees’ performance.
However, two employees of tobacco retailers in Tokoroa sold cigarettes to the volunteer and reports on these cases will now be sent to the Ministry of Health. The likely result for the employees will be a warning or a District Court prosecution.
Mr Young said while he was disappointed at the two sales it was pleasing to see the overall level of compliance and further operations of this nature would be conducted. Employers and their staff needed to ensure they were fully familiar with their obligations under the act.