THREE MORAY TOBACCONISTS have received fixed penalty fines for selling cigarettes to an under-age volunteer following a Trading standards investigation.
During a test purchase exercise carried out by Moray Trading Standards officers sales were made to a 16-year-old without proper checks on their age.
As a result £150 fixed penalties were issued to the three business owners and two members of staff who made the sales. The findings resulted from 14 test purchases carried out with no advance notice given that the exercise was to be conducted.
Tobacco sales legislation in Scotland requires sellers to request proof of age if they suspect that a buyer may be under 18 – acceptable identification is a passport, photo driving licence or proof of age card with the PASS hologram.
The £150 fixed penalties are the minimum that can be applied, with the maximum at £1000. Failure to pay would result in a report being submitted to the procurator fiscal.
Any business that repeatedly sells tobacco to under-18s could result in Trading Standards applying for a banning order preventing all sales of tobacco products.
To report any business that you suspect sells cigarettes to under 18s, people are asked to contact the Moray Council trading standards service via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service helpline on 08454 040506.