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HSA Suspends Licences of Ten Retailers Who Sold Tobacco to Under-Aged Persons

From August 2019 to June 2020, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) suspended the licences of 10 tobacco retailers who sold cigarettes to persons under the Minimum Legal Age[1] (MLA). The retailers sold to youths who were aged 18 years or below. 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 for the list of retailers and photos.)

Retail licences suspended

2        HSA suspended the retail licences of 10 outlets after the operators were caught selling to under-aged persons for the first time.  The outlets are:

Name of Retail Outlet

Address

Teo Chuan Hoe & Co

7 Jalan Bukit Merah

Ramiyaa S Maarketing Pte Ltd

498A Tampines Street 45

Rahmaniya Grocery

543 Bedok North Street 3

XinYuYang Pte Ltd

84 Bedok North Street 4

Wah Chiang Telecommunication

49 Stirling Road

Fortune

731 Yishun Street 72

Eng Seng Coffee Stall

221B Boon Lay Place

Tawfiqa Trading Pte Ltd

932B Hougang Avenue 9

Guru Brothers Trading and Supermart Pte Ltd

423 Hougang Avenue 6

Express Avenue

58 Marine Terrace

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 age by mere physical appearance of the buyer. 

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, and it will be raised to 21 years with effect from 1 January 2021.

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 June 2020, 102 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 under-aged persons to report to the Tobacco Regulation Branch via this online form or call Tel: 66842036 or 66842037 during office hours (9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday).



[1] The MLA applies to persons under 19 years old in 2019 and 20 years old in 2020.

HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
SINGAPORE
24 JULY 2020

Download pdf version here 1184 KB 
 
Consumer, Industry member, Tobacco control
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