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Underage tobacco sales: shops get final warning

08 April 2013

Final warnings have been given to Aberdeen retailers found to be selling tobacco to underage customers. Routine test purchases were made at 15 shops across the city earlier this year using 16-year-old volunteers. Seven of the retailers targeted in the operation sold cigarettes to the teenagers.

Two of the sales were to a volunteer wearing a school uniform when he visited national shop chains which were claiming to operate a Challenge 25 policy.

Letters from Trading Standards officers have now been sent to the retailers involved in the sale of tobacco products to people under the age of 18. They warn that any future sales could result in the issue being reported to the procurator fiscal for consideration of a prosecution. Alternatively Aberdeen City Council could issue a fixed penalty notice for £200.

Aberdeen City Council Trading Standards team leader Graeme Paton said:

We are disappointed that seven outlets supplied cigarettes to our 16-year-old volunteers, particularly with the staff who sold the cigarettes to the youngster wearing the school uniform - alarm bells should have been ringing at that point. Our commitment to work with retailers to avoid the illegal sale of tobacco products will remain the same.

We have given advice and continue to issue our business information packs to retailers and their employees routinely seek proof of age from young looking customers and only accept driving licences, passports or cards accredited by the National Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS).

'No ID, No Sale!' poster with accepted IDs 'No ID, No Sale!' window vinyl

No ID, No Sale! packs can be provided free of charge by CitizenCard.

Source: The Press and Journal, Jessica Murphy, 06 April 2013