Cumbernauld shops warned: don't sell cigarettes to under 18s

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 19:05 on 20 August 2013.
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RETAILERS in Cumbernauld have been reminded not to sell cigarettes to under 18s, by North Lanarkshire Council’s Trading Standards department. 

Trading Standards have been reminding retailers in Cumbernauld, and across North Lanarkshire, of their responsibility not to sell cigarettes to under 18s; warning retailers that they regularly carry out test purchases in local shops to check that they are following the correct legislation.

This week’s advice follows the announcement of statistics which show that, in 2012/13, North Lanarkshire’s Trading Standards Officers carried out 119 test purchases; of these 23 sales were made to young people under the age of 18 (19%), with 41 Fixed Penalty Notices issued to retailers who fell short of the law.

Advice was given to those retailers on their responsibilities under the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010. Only one shop sold cigarettes on a second occasion to an under-age individual, and the owner of this shop has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal as a result.

"It is a criminal offence for shops to sell tobacco products to anyone under 18 years of age, and the council has a duty to make sure retailers comply," Councillor Helen McKenna, Convener of the Environmental Services Committee explained.

"It can be very difficult to know if an individual is 18 or over, so it's important that retailers ask for proof of age to protect themselves from prosecution. Shops must be registered with the Scottish Government in order to sell tobacco products, and they should clearly display a notice warning customers that it is illegal to sell cigarettes to anyone under 18.

"Our Trading Standards Officers work with retailers to provide any information and advice they need to make sure they comply with the legislation, and in general the level of compliance is very good.

"This work is vital tackling the health problems caused by smoking by reducing the number of people who take up the habit at an early age."

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