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Trading standards offer advice to retailers

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 23/02/2012


During a weekend test purchase operation, officers visited 11 retailers with two underage volunteers who attempted to buy cigarettes and tobacco. While most challenged the youngsters for identification and subsequently refused to sell to minors, four premises failed the test purchase operation.

Officers have been encouraging all retailers to ask for proof of age unless they are sure the young person is old enough to buy a particular product and also warning them that failure to do so may result in a conviction.

Advice offered to businesses to avoid underage sales:

Make sure staff are trained and periodically tested to ensure compliance with the law

Challenge young people to produce identification

If in doubt, seek the advice of a colleague or politely refuse to serve them

Ensure proper supervision of employees who are either under eighteen or who are new to the job

Cllr James Hunt, executive member for communities, said: “The retailers who challenged the youngsters for identification and refused to sell to them should be praised for complying with the law in respect to under age sales of tobacco products. For the premises who failed the test, the results are disappointing and they may well be subject to further investigation.”

Mark Pullin, strong, safer communities manager, said: “Smoking is harmful to a young person’s health which is why we carry out these test purchases to make sure our retailers are complying with the current legislation. We would also encourage parents and the public to help us by letting us know when they suspect under age sales are being made to youngsters, whether it be tobacco or any other age restricted goods such as alcohol."

Retailers can obtain free advice regarding under age sales legislation from South Gloucestershire Council trading standards service on 01454 864419.

Under the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 businesses must ensure they comply with the law to ensure that people under the age of 18 are prevented from purchasing tobacco products.​


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