Perfect test results from Taranaki tobacco and vape retailers during Te Whatu Ora operation

15 December 2022

Te Whatu Ora public health staff are thrilled with the results of recent controlled purchase operations (CPOs) which resulted in 100% compliance from local retailers.

The operation tested whether Taranaki tobacco and vape retailers were complying with the Smokefree Environments and regulated Products Act 1990 by not selling vapes and tobacco products to children. Under the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 any customer who looks under 25 must be asked for identification.

Carly Stevenson, Taranaki Smokefree Enforcement Officer for the National Public Health Service, says all 49 retailers visited during the operation complied with the legislation and did not sell vape products to the 15 and 17-year-old volunteers.

“We are really pleased with the results after a bad run of non-compliance over the last six months,” Stevenson said. “It was great to see retailers doing their job and ensuring that they are not selling cigarettes or vapes to people under 18 years old.”

A retailer who sells vaping/ tobacco products to anyone aged under 18 will be referred to the Ministry of Health and may be issued with an infringement notice including a $500 fine, and/or face prosecution.

“All businesses selling vaping and tobacco products need to be certain of their obligations under the Smoke-Free Environments and Regulated Products Act, and pass on this important information to staff members.”

The Public Health Service will continue to monitor retailers of vape and tobacco products, including those who have previously sold to underage buyers and will carry out further CPO’s targeting those retailers.

For more information on compliance with the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 or to discuss concerns about retailers selling tobacco or vape products to minors (under 18’s) in Taranaki, please contact Te Whatu Ora Public Health Unit on 06 753 7798.

Last updated: Tuesday, December 20, 2022

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