Taranaki retail outlets tighten up on tobacco sales

12 July 2013

A recent Controlled Purchase Operation (CPO) carried out by Taranaki DHB Public Health Unit had pleasing results regarding selling cigarettes to people under 18 years said Health Promoter Carly Twaddle.

Taranaki DHBs Public Health staff visited 16 retail premises in Waitara and New Plymouth in a campaign to stop retailers selling tobacco to under age youths.

Miss Twaddle, said staff at 15 of the 16 premises visited had followed correct procedure and refused to sell cigarettes to the 14 and 17 year-old volunteers who were briefed to give their correct age when asked. 

However, she was dismayed to find that one retailer was selling cigarettes individually, which is illegal.

Miss Twaddle said this was most disappointing. “We work very hard with dairy retailers and most of them are conscientious law abiding retailers. Selling individual cigarettes is prohibited as we strive to discourage young people to start smoking.”

“The Public Health Unit continues to conduct operations of this nature on an ongoing basis. Employers and their staff members need to ensure they are fully familiar with their obligations under the act, and be aware that if they sell individual cigarettes they face prosecution, and a fine of up to $2000” she said.

“We need to work together to prevent young people from having access to cigarettes. We want retailer’s to help us work towards our vision of a smokefree Taranaki.”

Medical Officer of Health Dr Jonathan Jarman said that smoking was a major health issue for the Taranaki District Health Board.
"Half of all long-term smokers will die from a smoking-related disease. Around 5000 people die each year in New Zealand because of smoking or second-hand smoke exposure. That’s 13 people a day. " 

If you have any concerns or complaints about tobacco related issues please contact the Public Health Unit on 7537798 or email health.protection@tdhb.org.nz

For more information please call
Sue Carrington
Media Adviser
Ph 021 367 789


Last updated: Friday, July 12, 2013

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