HSA Revokes Licence of Retailer Who Sold Tobacco to Under-Aged Person in School Uniform, Suspends Four Others
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has revoked the tobacco retail licence of one errant retailer and suspended the licences of four tobacco retailers who sold cigarettes to persons under the Minimum Legal Age (MLA) of 19 years. They were caught via HSA’s ground surveillance and enforcement activities to deter the illegal sale of tobacco products to under-aged persons. (Please refer to Annex A in the pdf for the list of retailers and photos.)
Retail Licence Revoked
2 HSA revoked the retail licence of Lian Lee Super Mart located at 635 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 as the seller had sold a tobacco product to a 17-year-old in school uniform. The seller did not check the buyer’s age before the sale, as he felt that the buyer looked mature.
Retail Licences Suspended
3 HSA suspended the retail licences of four other outlets after the operators were caught selling to under-aged persons for the first time. The outlets are:
|Name of Retail Outlet
|Shun Da Cheng Provision And Minimart
||424 Bukit Batok West Avenue 2
||622D Punggol Central
||3150 Commonwealth Avenue West
|S-11 (AMK Central)
||51 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3
4 These affected outlets are not allowed to sell tobacco products during the six-month suspension period.
Reminder to Retailers
5 HSA takes a stern approach towards errant retailers and will not hesitate to take prosecution actions against them. Tobacco retail licensees are reminded that they are responsible for all transactions of tobacco products taking place at their outlets, as well as the actions of their employees. Sellers take the risk of contravening the laws if they assess age by mere physical appearance of the buyer.
6 All tobacco retail licensees are reminded to educate their employees on the law pertaining to the sale of tobacco products and for sellers to verify the age of those who wish to buy tobacco products. The MLA to use, possess or buy tobacco products has been raised to 19 years with effect from 1 January 2019, and it will be raised to 20 years with effect from 1 January 2020 and 21 years with effect from 1 January 2021.
7 Under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, anyone caught selling tobacco products to persons below the MLA is liable, on conviction in Court, to a maximum fine of up to $5,000 for the first offence and up to $10,000 for the second or subsequent offence. In addition, the tobacco retail licence will be suspended for six months for the first offence and revoked for the second offence. However, if any outlet is found selling tobacco products to under-aged persons in school uniform or those below 12 years of age, the tobacco retail licence will be revoked, even at the first offence. From 2015 to June 2019, 91 tobacco retail licences were suspended and 14 were revoked by HSA.
8 In accordance with the licence application criteria, any person who commits an offence of selling tobacco to a person under the MLA will not be eligible to apply for a tobacco retail licence.
9 Members of the public can view the updated List of Suspended / Revoked Tobacco Retailers here.
10 HSA encourages members of the public who have information on the illegal sale or supply of tobacco products to under-aged persons to call the Tobacco Regulation Branch at Tel: 66842036 or 66842037 during office hours.
HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
16 JULY 2019
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