21 November 2007
The Trading Standards Service in the Caerphilly County Borough is urging retailers to be extra vigilant from Monday 1st October when the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products and knives increases from 16 to 18. This will mean that young people have to be 18 before they can buy. This brings tobacco and knives in line with alcohol and should make it easier for retailers as they now have only one age to be concerned about checking.
The warning comes as the latest figures for underage sales reveal that in Wales in the last year, 11% of underage attempts to purchase cigarettes resulted in a sale, up from 10% in the previous year. Petrol filling stations were the sector of the trade most likely to sell cigarettes to youngsters with 29% of those visited selling, and six sales were made from private houses. Figures for Caerphilly are much better with no sales of tobacco in the last two years surveys.
The results for knife sales in Caerphilly are slightly worse with 40% of premises tested this year making a sale.
Cllr David Poole, Cabinet Member for Environment said ‘It is essential that retailers advise their staff of the changes in the law and ensure that from 1st October no one under the age of 18 is served with tobacco products such as cigarettes and rolling papers, or with knives. These changes in the law bring tobacco and knives into line with other age 18 restricted products such as alcohol, solvents and fireworks’.
Warning letters have been sent out to 659 retailers within Caerphilly. The letters included the new notice that has to be displayed for tobacco stating, ”It is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under 18 years of age”.
Asking to see proof of age really is the key to avoiding underage sales, and many retailers now operate a ‘Think 21’ policy where anyone appearing to be under the age of 21 is asked to prove their age. Traders requiring further guidance on any aspect of underage sales should contact the Caerphilly Trading Standards Service on 01495 235291, or vist www.tradingstandardswales.org.uk
- Return to News