Date Added - 21/02/13
Moray Council’s trading standards service has issued nine fixed penalty notices following an under-age tobacco sales exercise which found five premises sold cigarettes to a 15-year-old test purchaser.
It is an offence to sell cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18 and the businesses and individuals who made the sales have received £200 fixed penalty notices.
The five shops which sold cigarettes to the volunteer test purchasers were among 22 tobacco retailers who were visited.
Trading standards had previously carried out 91 checks on businesses to find out if they asked an 18-year-old for proof of age. Those who did not request proof of age were advised of the lapse and offered training on age-related sales.
The test purchases were targeted at those businesses which failed the proof-of-age check and those where trading standards had received complaints or other intelligence of under-age sales.
Peter Adamson, Moray Council’s trading standards manager, said: “While we applaud those businesses that refused to sell cigarettes, we are very disappointed in these results given the continued efforts to reduce sales to under-18s. We advise businesses to ask for recognised proof- of-age for any customer who looks under 25, such as a photo driving licence or the Young Scot card.”
Councillor Douglas Ross, chairman of the council’s planning and regulatory services committee, said: “Reducing smoking rates is a council priority. Trading standards will continue to work with businesses to prevent under-age sales, but will not hesitate to take enforcement action where retailers are found selling to under-18s.
“While it’s encouraging that the majority of shops who were checked did not sell to under-age people, it’s disappointing that five did. I hope this sends out a message that trading standards are taking this issue seriously and shops should ensure they only sell products to customers who are of an age to buy them.”
Retailers who continue to sell tobacco to under-age children can face a ban on selling tobacco for up to two years.
To report under-age tobacco sales, contact Moray Council’s trading standards service on 01343 554617 or firstname.lastname@example.org . To report illegal sales of counterfeit or duty free cigarettes, call the illegal tobacco phone line in confidence on 01224 522433.