The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) suspended the tobacco retail licence of a store in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 after it sold cigarettes to a 17-year-old boy who was wearing a school uniform. HSA has also recently revoked the licences of four other shops that were found guilty of selling cigarettes to minors.
The shop in question is Lian Lee Super Mart, at 635 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6. The staff who were on duty at the time admitted that they did not check the boy’s age, despite the fact that he was wearing a school uniform.
This violates regulations set by the HSA, which states under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act that all tobacco retail centres must educate their employees on the legislation regarding the sale of all tobacco products.
Workers in tobacco retail centres must first verify the age of those who wish to buy tobacco products, keeping in mind that by law, they are prohibited from selling the aforementioned products to those classified as “under-aged”.
The minimum legal age for the purchase, use, possession, sale and supply of all tobacco products was raised from 18 to 19 in the beginning of this year.
The Tobacco Act clearly states that any person found selling tobacco products to those below the legal age can be fined up to S$5,000 for the first offence and up to S$10,000 for subsequent offences.
Furthermore, those who sell tobacco products to under-aged customers below 12 or those that are wearing school uniforms will have their tobacco retail licences revoked for a period of time.
On Tuesday, July 16, HSA said that in addition to the shop on Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, four other tobacco retailers had also been placed under suspension for six months, with their tobacco licenses revoked. The other four outlets were found to have sold cigarettes to people below the legal age for the first time.
The suspended shops are as follows: Shun Da Cheng Provision and Minimart at 424 Bukit Batok West Avenue 2, Giant Express at 622D Punggol Central, Buzz at 3150 Commonwealth Avenue West, and S-11 (AMK Central) at 51 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3.
All five suspended shops will not be allowed to sell any kind of tobacco products during their suspension period.
The HSA has asked for the public’s assistance in giving information on or identifying anyone involved in the illegal sale or supply of tobacco products to under-aged customers.
Contact the Tobacco Regulation Branch at 6684-2036 or 6684-2037 during office hours if you have any information to report. /TISG
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