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HSA Suspends Licences of Eight Retailers Who Sold Tobacco to Under-aged Persons

From July to September 2020, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) suspended the licences of eight tobacco retailers who sold cigarettes to persons under the Minimum Legal Age[1] (MLA). 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 Licences Suspended

2        HSA suspended the retail licences of the eight outlets after the operators were caught selling to under-aged persons for the first time.  The outlets are:

Name of Retail Outlet

Address

SIN TONG HONG EATING HOUSE

429A Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4

FRESH FOODS SUPERMARKET PTE LTD

727 Clementi West Street 2

G&G GAMBAS

50 Gambas Crescent

HNH PTE LTD

481 Tampines Street 44

HAPPY GROCER TRADING

347 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3

RESHMI MINI MART

856 Tampines Street 82

SUPERLUCK FOOD COURT

440 Bukit Batok West Avenue 8

U STARS SUPERMARKET

261 Punggol Way

3        These affected outlets are not allowed to sell tobacco products during the six-month suspension period.

Reminder to Retailers

4        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 the age of the buyer by mere physical appearance instead of asking for the buyer’s Identity Card or other forms of photo identification. 

5        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 20 years with effect from 1 January 2020.

6        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 September 2020, 110 tobacco retail licences were suspended and 16 were revoked by HSA.

7        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.

8        Members of the public can view the updated List of Suspended / Revoked Tobacco Retailers here.

9          HSA encourages members of the public who have information on the illegal sale or supply of tobacco products to submit a report conveniently using the online form at go.gov.sg/reporttobaccooffences. Alternatively, they can contact HSA’s Tobacco Regulation Branch at Tel: 6684 2036 or 6684 2037 during office hours (9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday).


[1] The MLA applies to persons under 20 years old in 2020.

HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
SINGAPORE
11 NOVEMBER 2020

Consumer, Tobacco control
Published:

Press Releases