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Latrobe Local News:
Marked decrease in Tobacco retailers still willing to flout the law

Reduction in the number of retailers selling cigarettes to minors is shown in the latest survey of tobacco retailers

By Latrobe City Council - 7th February 2002 - Back to News

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A dramatic reduction in the number of retailers willing to break the law by selling cigarettes to minors has been revealed in the latest survey of tobacco retailers, conducted by Latrobe City Council.

Latrobe Cityís Health Services Unit Leader, Andrew Mackintosh, said that the survey undertaken in late January found that just four percent of outlets sold cigarettes to underage school children compared with twenty percent caught in a survey twelve months previously.

"The survey was organised in conjunction with Latrobe Community Health Centre Inc and was supported with funding from the Department of Human Services. Six children aged 14 to 16 took part in the survey," Mr Mackintosh said.

"The children, with full parental permission, worked in pairs and were supervised by the Councilís Environmental Health Officers. They visited forty-two outlets in Churchill, Moe, Morwell and Traralgon, including milkbars, supermarkets, convenience stores and newsagents. This amounted to approximately twenty-five percent of Latrobeís tobacco retailers," Mr Mackintosh explained.

Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Brendan Jenkins said that despite the fact that four percent of the retailers visited were willing to flout the law and sell tobacco products to children, it represented a marked decrease from previous years.

"Councilís Health Services Unit has, for the last six months, been involved in a pro-active educational scheme to advise retailers on their responsibilities under the Tobacco Act 1987. The message is getting across but we cannot become complacent," Cr Jenkins said.

"Council is the responsible authority for ensuring that local tobacco retailers comply with the Tobacco Act 1987 and as such we will issue warning letters to those outlets that failed the survey," said Cr Jenkins.

"If caught offending again, the retailer could face a heavy fine or even be suspended from selling tobacco products."

"We must ensure that our children are protected from the dangers of

cigarettes and tobacco products and the first place to start is to make certain that they are unable to purchase such products," Cr Jenkins concluded.


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