Tobacco retailers trumped by 16-year-old


Two tobacco retailers were trumped by a 16-year-old after being caught selling cigarettes to an underage customer during an operation by the Nelson Marlborough Health Public Health Service last week.

During the ‘tobacco controlled purchase operation’, 46 retailers were visited by a supervised 16 year-old volunteer who attempted to purchase cigarettes at each outlet.

Sonya Briggs, Manager of Environmental Health & Communicable Disease for Nelson Marlborough Health, says that two sales were made to the 16 year-old.

“The people that sold the cigarettes to our volunteer have been issued with a infringement notice from the Ministry of Health.

“We would have preferred there were no sales, however generally we are very pleased with this result. The majority of retailers asked our volunteers for identification, which is the best policy.  The simple message should always be if the person looks under 25 years, ask for ID. No ID means no sale.”

By law, retailers who sell tobacco products to underage buyers are issued with infringement notices containing $500 fines.