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Employee at Hamilton dairy fails tobacco compliance test

An employee at a Hamilton dairy is facing enforcement action after selling a tobacco product to a person less than 18 years of age.

Waikato District Health Board’s Population Health staff visited 130 retail premises in Hamilton over the past two weeks to carry out controlled purchase operations, testing whether or not cigarettes would not be sold to a person under 18 years of age.

Population Health advisor Nick Young said staff at just one of the premises tested did not follow correct procedure and sold cigarettes to a 16-year-old volunteer, who was briefed to give their correct age if asked.

Mr Young will contact the retailers whose staff complied with the legislation to let them know of their employees’ performance.

The incident where a dairy employee sold cigarettes will now be reported to the Ministry of Health in Wellington and the likely result for the seller can range from a warning through to a District Court prosecution.

Mr Young said he was very pleased with the high level of compliance, especially since the operation had been conducted during a school holiday period.

Further operations of this nature will be conducted on an ongoing basis and employers and their staff should ensure they remain fully familiar with their obligations under the Smoke-free Environments Act.

ENDS

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