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Record number of retailers selling tobacco to teens

13 May 2019. Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) has identified nine retailers that have sold tobacco to teenagers within a two-week period, which is a record high for the service, Newshub reported.

Retailers in New Zealand are required by law to check the IDs of people purchasing tobacco products who look under 25; however, ARPHS found that 29 retailers have failed to comply with the law since July 2018, Newshub reported.

According to the report, most of the retailers identified by ARPHS for illegally selling tobacco to teenagers were located in Auckland CBD. The organisation identified 17 further retailers in South Auckland and three in East Auckland.

In a statement, Dean Adam, the health improvement manager for ARPHS, commented on the illegal sales saying, “There is no tobacco licencing scheme in New Zealand, meaning there are no restrictions on who is allowed to sell tobacco and where they can sell it. Tobacco has become as readily available as milk and bread.

"Cigarettes need to be less readily available to young people in these areas, not more so,” Adam added.

Retailers caught selling tobacco products to minors face fines up to NZD 10,000 (EUR 5,861) and other criminal convictions, according to the report.