The City of Casey cracks down on cigarettes sales to minors: Issued 14 June 2012
MEDIA RELEASE: 14 June 2012
The City of Casey is continuing its campaign to prevent local retailers selling cigarettes to young people under 18 years of age.
Sixty local tobacco retailers were visited in April this year as part of the ‘Tobacco Sales to Minors’ program, during which six sales were made to a minor.
Businesses who sold a tobacco product to a minor have been interviewed by Council and infringement notices of $488.56 have been issued, along with official warnings for a contravention of section 12 (1) of the Tobacco Act.
City of Casey Mayor Cr Sam Aziz said Council took its responsibility of preventing the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors very seriously.
‘Council conducts an ongoing test purchase program throughout the municipality to ensure tobacco retailers comply with the laws prohibiting the sale of cigarettes to people under 18 years of age.
‘Since January 2012 128 test purchases have been carried out in the City of Casey, resulting in 10 sales to minors.
‘Retailers found to be breaking the law risk receiving an on-the-spot infringement notice of $488.56 (currently) and a tobacco retailer found guilty in the Magistrates’ Court of selling cigarettes to a person under 18 years may lose their ability to sell tobacco for a specified period of time and/or incur a large fine’.
Cr Aziz said with 5,000 Victorians dying of tobacco-related disease every year, Council was committed to trying to reduce the number of teenagers taking up the deadly habit.
‘Retailers must understand that selling cigarettes to people under the age of 18 is unacceptable and we have a responsibility to do more to prevent teenage smoking.
‘Council actively discourages young people to smoke and we encourage local business owners to hold the same level of commitment to this important social issue.
‘All the retailer has to do is ask a person for proof of age before selling tobacco to someone who may be underage’.
If you are concerned about retailers selling to tobacco to young people under 18, contact the City of Casey Customer Service on 9705 5200 or the Tobacco Information Line on 1300 136 775.
Information on tobacco laws is available at www.health.vic.gov.au/tobaccoreforms.