Re­tail­ers stung for un­der-age to­bacco sales

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

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.

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