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Whanganui retailer fined for selling tobacco to a minor

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11/05/2018
A Whanganui retailer has been fined $500 by the Ministry of Health for selling tobacco products to an under 18-year-old.

The infringement notice was issued following a recent Controlled Purchase Operation carried out by MidCentral Public Health Services in Whanganui.
 
Twenty-one Whanganui retailers were visited by volunteers aged under 18, asking to buy cigarettes. Only one, Durie Hill Store, sold cigarettes to one of the volunteers.
 
SmokeFree Enforcement Officer Brett Munro congratulated the 20 other retailers who did not sell to an under 18-year-old.
 
So far this year MidCentral Public Health Services had conducted four tobacco Controlled Purchase Operations throughout the Manawatu-Whanganui region. Fifty-two tobacco retailers had been visited, with two Ministry of Health infringement notices issued  -  to Durie Hill Store this month and to BP Connect Blue Moon in Fitzherbert Avenue, Palmerston North, in February.
 
Mr Munro stressed the need for retailers to ask customers for identification if they looked under 25 years of age.
 
“Don’t rely on appearance  -  if they look under 25, ask for ID,” he said.
 
“Eradicating the sale of tobacco to minors is an important step towards achieving a Smoke-free Aotearoa by 2025”.
 
Mr Munro said a positive trend emerging was retailers choosing to go tobacco-free. To date, 10 retailers in the region had chosen to stop selling tobacco at their premises.
 
Any retailer wanting more information on how to become tobacco-free, how to comply with Smoke-free law or with concerns about retailers selling tobacco to minors (under 18’s) can contact a SmokeFree Enforcement Officer at MidCentral Public Health Services on 06 350 9110.

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