Clam­p­down on cigs sold to un­der-agers

To­bacco sales come un­der coun­cil scru­tiny

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE - Ross Thom­son

Tra d i n g S t a n d a rds of­fi­cers have be­gun a test pur­chas­ing op­er­a­tion on to­bacco sales in the Wishaw area.

The Trad­ing Stan­dards team are aim­ing to test com­pli­ance lev­els in re­la­tion to the pro­hi­bi­tion of sup­plies to those un­der 18.

In the last fi­nan­cial year, the test pur­chas­ing regime achieved its high­est ever com­pli­ance rate with only 4.8 per cent of traders sell­ing to un­der-18s.

Dis­ap­point­ingly, the fail­ure rate in the last ex­er­cise rose to 10.6 per cent, with seven sales oc­cur­ring out of a to­tal of 66 at­tempts.

Four­teen fixed penalty no­tices have been served as a re­sult of the sales which took place.

Trad­ing Stan­dards man­ager Paul Ban­nis­ter said: “The re­sults show that Trad­ing Stan­dards need to be ever-vig­i­lant in en­forc­ing un­der-age sales laws, and I would re­mind to­bacco sell­ers in North La­nark­shire that we of­fer free busi­ness ad­vice and train­ing to en­sure that traders are aware of their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and the steps they can take to en­sure no re­peat fail­ures.

“Any traders un­sure of age re­stricted prod­ucts leg­is­la­tion or who want some help with train­ing should con­tact the Trad­ing Stan­dards of­fice.

“If any mem­ber of the pub­lic sus­pects that a trader is sell­ing to­bacco, sol­vents, al­co­hol or other age re­stricted prod­ucts to those un­der-age they can also con­tact us to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion, in con­fi­dence.”

If re­tail­ers are seek­ing fur­ther guid­ance, they can con­tact Trad­ing Stan­dards on 01236 856361.

The coun­cil’s In­fra­struc­ture Com­mit­tee con­vener Michael McPake said: “My Trad­ing Stan­dards of­fi­cers will con­tinue to en­force un­der-age sales laws in re­la­tion to to­bacco, nico­tine va­p­ing prod­ucts and other age re­stricted items to en­sure that young peo­ple in the com­mu­nity are pro­tected.

“Our work in re­la­tion to to­bacco is part of a wider to­bacco ces­sa­tion strat­egy, work­ing in con­junc­tion with NHS part­ners, to help pre­vent young peo­ple from smok­ing and , there­fore, im­prov­ing the long term health of our res­i­dents.”

Stan­dards chief Paul Ban­nis­ter

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