Saturday, April 13, 2024

Wyndham City butts out illegal tobacco sales

A Wyndham City Council operation designed to prevent the sale of tobacco to children has resulted in a number of businesses receiving warning notices and infringements.

Between January and July 2021, Council says 51 randomly selected tobacco retailers were tested as part of the city’s ongoing commitment to prevent the sale of tobacco to those under the age of 18.

The operation was part of Wyndham’s commitment, along with Municipal Association of Victoria, to undertake tobacco safety related activities such as test purchases for tobacco retailers.

As part of the operation, Test Purchase Assistants under the age of 18 visited businesses with the aim of purchasing tobacco or cigarettes. They were not allowed to lie about their age or present fraudulent identification in the process.

Seven businesses sold tobacco to the Test Purchase Assistants, resulting in staff being fined $661 each. 

Wyndham City Mayor and Healthy City portfolio holder, Adele Hegedich said it was important that Wyndham businesses were united in protecting the health of the community.

“While it was encouraging that most businesses complied with the law, it is disturbing that cigarettes were still being sold to those under the age of 18,” the Mayor said.

Wyndham City officers also made 140 educational visits to businesses to ensure adequate staff training on tobacco laws had been completed and that official training records were kept up to date.

“The outcome of these visits and this testing process can serve as a reminder to all Wyndham businesses about how vital it is to provide effective training of tobacco laws to staff, and the requirement on asking for identification when selling tobacco,” Mayor Hegedich said.

“This is a reminder to all Wyndham businesses to inform their staff of the importance of asking for ID when selling tobacco.”

“It’s also important that everyone is on the same page in protecting the health of our community.”

For further information regarding the Tobacco Act, please refer to the Department of Health Tobacco Unit on https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/tobacco-reform or contact the Wyndham’s Environmental Health Unit on (03) 9742 0738. 

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