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Mobil Awapuni fined $500 for selling cigarettes to youth

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The MidCentral Public Health Service recently held a Tobacco Controlled Purchase Operation (CPO) in Palmerston North. A CPO involves an operation where the Public Health Service sends a person under 18 into a retailer asking to buy cigarettes.

​Twenty-nine premises were visited in Palmerston North with one sale occurring at Mobil Awapuni, Palmerston North. On this occasion, the seller was issued with a $500 infringement fine from the Ministry of Health.

MidCentral Health Smoke-free Enforcement Officer, Julie Beckett, offers her congratulations to those retailers who consistently ask for ID for anyone wanting to purchase tobacco if they look under the age of 25 years. Twenty-eight retailers asked for ID during the recent CPO.  This is a significant positive result for the region so far this year.

ulie Beckett’s message to retailers is: “It’s easy. Just ask for a current NZ driver’s licence, passport, or 18 Plus card when considering the sale of tobacco to anyone who you think is under the age of 25 years. Basically, if they have no ID – no sale.”

Eradicating the sale of tobacco to minors is an important step toward achieving a Smoke-free Aotearoa by 2025. 

A positive emerging trend in the MidCentral DHB district is retailers choosing to go tobacco-free.  To date the region has 10 retailers who have chosen to stop selling tobacco in their premises.

If you retail tobacco and would like more information on what to do to comply with the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 or have concerns about retailers selling tobacco to minors (under 18’s) please contact a Smoke-free Enforcement Officer by phoning the MidCentral Public Health Service on (06) 350 9110.

Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945

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