Selling Tobacco To Those Underage Goes On
The selling of tobacco to those underage is hardly earth-shattering news. For as long as there has been a legal age restriction, tobacco has been sold to those below it. Will this ever change? If I were honest, then I would have to say no. However, I do believe that every effort should be made to discourage youngsters from taking up the habit of smoking in the first place. This means making sure the avenue of buying from shops is curtailed as much as is possible.
A latest survey by Trading Standards Officers in Cornwall has highlighted that the sale of tobacco by shops to those underage is continuing. Out of 33 premises visited, 60% sold tobacco to the young volunteers who are generally 15 and 16 years old. In total 13 of the 25 shops visited sold to the children without challenging the item. The children also purchased tobacco from vending machines in 7 of the 8 pubs visited without being challenged. I think the later point is a lot harder to police because in a lot of pubs vending machines are out of the way, but is this an excuse?
The figures have disappointed Trading Standards and if these percentages of shop sales were replicated across Cornwall it would seem that this is a much larger issue. No doubt these shops which have failed to uphold the law will be sweating a little, because the possible fines for this breach are considerable.
At the end of the day as long as tobacco is sold, those who are underage will still be able to access it by means of an older friend, sibling or parent. I guess the question should be what else should we do? Answers on a postcard please.