// News

Praised for not selling cigs to underage teen

15 April 2013

Fourteen retailers have been praised for refusing to sell cigarettes to an underage teenager.

A 15-year-old, working with the county council's Trading Standards team, took part in a test purchasing exercise in a bid to stamp out underage sales.

They visited 14 different retailers and at each one the sales assistant refused to sell any tobacco products to the 15 year-old as the minimum age is 18.

Angela Jones, the council's Trading Standards service manager, said that she was pleased that retailers were "vigilant" and refused to make a sale. "Trading Standards will continue to work with partners throughout the year to tackle the issue of young people accessing restricted products such as alcohol and tobacco," she added.

Our approach is not aimed at just taking action against retailers where a sale is made, but also at educating and helping them when selling age-restricted products. Our advice to off-licences, supermarkets, pubs or restaurants remains the same - No ID, No Sale.

The latest operation was concentrated on Cockermouth, Maryport and Workington. An underage teenager, accompanied by underage police officers, attempted to buy alcohol at 22 licensed premises in the town, including independent retailers and national chains.

Previous operations have focussed on places including Carlisle, Keswick and Aspatria. Police have warned that they will be revisiting the premises in the future to check up on them.

Inspector Craig Lory, from Allerdale borough neighbourhood policing team, said that there had been a "significant" drop in the number of premises selling alcohol to the 15- year old compared to the last operation. "However, it is of concern that three of the premises that sold to us this time have done so previously" he added.

The previous week a similar operation was held in Wigton and Aspatria where seven of the eight premises visited refused the sale.

"We want to work with retailers to remind them of their responsibilities and reinforce the message to everyone that the sale of age-restricted products to children is irresponsible and illegal," added Ms Jones.

Retailers can get a 'No ID, No Sale' retailer pack for free.

Source: News & Star, 06 April 2013, page 46