Most shops are not selling smokes to youth

East Coast and rural retailers are making progress keeping our youth safe from the harm of smoking. Fifteen out of sixteen retailers didn’t sell tobacco to underage buyers during the latest tobacco operation by Hauora Tairāwhiti.

Hauora Tairāwhiti Chief Executive Jim Green said: “Retailers deserve credit for this fantastic result. They are really contributing well towards a smokefree Aotearoa.”

Hauora Tairāwhiti Medical Officer of Health, Dr Margot McLean said, “Retailers are to be commended for their continued vigilance in reducing access to tobacco products for youth in our community.”

Last year, not a single one of the retailers sold tobacco to underage buyers.

Aporina Chapman, Senior Health Promotion Advisor said, “Unfortunately our rural communities have high youth smoking rates compared to our urban areas, it is disappointing to have to report one retailer sold tobacco to an underage person. We also rely on the support of our shop keepers to help us reach our smokefree Aotearoa 2025 vision.

Controlled purchase operations are carried out twice a year.

All District Health Boards run tobacco controlled purchase operations regularly, using non-smoking volunteers aged 14 to 17, who attempt to buy tobacco from shops under the supervision of a smokefree enforcement officer.

Hauora Tairāwhiti and the New Zealand government are committed to a goal of New Zealand becoming smokefree by 2025.

Further information and free resources on the Smoke-Free Environments Act 1990 can be obtained from the population health team at the Hauora Tairawhiti Community Health Centre, 110 Peel Street.

People wanting help to quit smoking should visit the new online and face-to-face smoking cessation service at www.onceandforall.co.nz(external link) or phone Quitline on 0800 778 778.

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