Northland DHB Public Health staff are encouraged after two Controlled Purchase Operations (CPOs) at tobacco retailers this week.
The CPOs saw underage volunteers aged 15 and 17 years attempt to purchase tobacco product from retailers throughout the Hokianga-Mid North and greater Whangarei areas. Both CPOs returned NO sales from the 40 retailer outlets tested by the smoke-free enforcement staff.
Wendy Antrobus, Northland DHB Smoke-free Enforcement Officer said, “This is an excellent result and the first operation of this size to be carried out resulting in No Sales. The retailers tested had very good systems in place and asked for identification on every occasion, which is very encouraging. It demonstrates that our tobacco retailers are responsible sellers of tobacco product and protecting the young people of the communities they operate in”.
Retailers are urged to always assess the age of teenagers asking to buy tobacco products by insisting on a form of photo identification from anyone who looks under the age of 25, no photo identification, no sale. “It is a very simple way for retailers to maintain their compliance with the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990.” says Mrs Antrobus.
CPO’s will continue to be conducted randomly during the year, as required by the Ministry of Health, whereby children aged well below the legal age of 18 are used to approach retailers to purchase tobacco products under controlled conditions.
October 2017 Northland Operation statistics: