Tobacco retailers obey the law

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 08/02/2014

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A sting across Timaru has found tobacco retailers are abiding by the law.

Community and Public Health completed a controlled purchase operation of 21 tobacco retailers in Timaru.

None made a sale to the underage volunteer who attempted to buy cigarettes during the operation.

Canterbury medical officer of health Dr Alistair Humphrey said the result was "exactly" what he had hoped for.

"Most smokers become addicted in their teens," he said. "The fewer opportunities young people have to become addicted to tobacco, the healthier they'll be throughout their lives."

It is illegal to sell tobacco and herbal smoking products to a person under the age of 18.

A person who commits the offence can face a fine of up to $1000.

"While the results of these recent controlled purchase operations are very encouraging, and we congratulate our local retailers, we will continue undertaking controlled purchase operations at regular intervals to ensure the law is upheld."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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