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Two Palmerston North businesses fined for selling tobacco to minors

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Two Palmerston North businesses have been fined for selling tobacco to people under the age of 18.

​During a Tobacco Controlled Purchase Operation (CPO) in Palmerston North, conducted in July, Z Pioneer Highway service station and Herbert Avenue Dairy sold tobacco to MidCentral Public Health volunteers aged 15 and 16 years. A CPO involves an operation where the Public Health Service sends in a person under 18 into a retailer asking to buy cigarettes. 

On this occasion both sellers have been issued with an infringement fine from the Ministry of Health.

Smoke-free Enforcement Officer, Brett Munro offers his congratulations to those retailers who consistently ask for ID for anyone wanting to purchase tobacco if they look under the age of 25 years. Eighteen retailers asked for ID during the recent operation.

He said: “It’s easy, just ask for a current New Zealand 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 towards achieving a smokefree Aotearoa by 2025. 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 (U-18s) please contact a Smoke-free Enforcement Officer by phoning MidCentral Public Health on 06 350 9110.

Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945

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