Tobacco retailers in the City of Casey are doing their bit to reduce the uptake of smoking by minors.
Following a blitz on tobacco retailers, Casey’s Environmental Health Officers visited 47 tobacco premises recently and reported no sales of cigarettes made to people under the age of 18.
City of Casey Mayor Cr Amanda Stapledon said that Council’s Environmental Health Officers undertake routine tobacco test purchasing across the municipality, specifically targeting tobacco retailers to ensure strict compliance with the Tobacco Act 1987.
“It is pleasing to report that no sales of cigarettes were made to minors during this blitz, compared to previous years where seven sales were recorded in 2018 and three sales in 2017," said the Mayor.
“These are encouraging signs that retailers understand the importance of asking a person for proof of age, before selling cigarettes to someone.
“Stopping the sale of cigarettes to minors in their adolescent years is important, as according to the Cancer Council of Victoria about 1 in 8 cancer deaths in Australia can be attributed to smoking, with more than 15,000 Australians diagnosed with a smoking-related cancer each year.”
Retailers and person’s selling tobacco to a minor who are found to be breaking the law risk receiving infringements ranging from $645 - $9,671, prosecution in a Magistrates Court and/or a fine ranging from $19,343 – $96,714, and the loss of their right to sell tobacco.
Friday 31 May 2019 is World No Tobacco Day with the World Health Organisation campaigning to increase awareness on the negative impacts that tobacco has on people’s lung health (from cancer to chronic respiratory disease) and the fundamental role lungs play for the health and well-being of all people. More information is available on the World Health Organisation website.
Tobacco retailers are encouraged to review the tobacco retailers guide and resources available on the DHHS tobacco reform website to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities when selling tobacco in Victoria.
People concerned about retailers selling to people under the age of 18 should contact Council on 9705 5200 or the DHHS Tobacco Information Line on 1300 136 775. Information on tobacco laws is available on the Health. Vic website.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provide funding to Councils, via the Municipal Association of Victoria for this program.
The Tobacco Test Purchasing Program is conducted by Council’s Environmental Health Services contractor, Kernow Environmental Services P/L.