Crackdown on retailers selling tobacco to minors

Posted on 29 October 2019


Four tobacco retailers in Latrobe City have been caught selling tobacco products to children by Council’s Environmental Health team.

The Latrobe City Council’s Environmental Health team conduct an ongoing test purchase program throughout the municipality to ensure tobacco and e-cigarette retailers comply with the laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco and e-cigarettes to people under the age of 18 years.

Retailers found to be breaking the law risk receiving a $661 infringement notice or prosecution in the Magistrate’s Court with risk of a fine up to $19,320 and the loss of their right to sell tobacco or e-cigarette products.

To date, one warning letter and three infringement notices have been issued to businesses. 47 businesses were found to not have broken any laws with selling tobacco or e-cigarette products to minors.

This is a vast improvement from the 2017 figures which had 11 instances of sales to minors. The goal is to have zero sales.

People concerned about retailers selling products to underage persons should contact the Council’s Environmental Health team on (03) 5128 5613 or the Department of Health and Human Services Tobacco Information line on 1300 136 775.

Further information on the laws can be found on the Tobacco Reforms Website

‘Retailers must understand that selling tobacco and e-cigarettes to children under the age of 18 is unacceptable. Smoking is by far the leading cause of preventable illness, disease and death in Victoria and we know that most addicted smokers start before the age of 18 years. It is therefore vitally important that we prevent underage persons accessing cigarettes. All the retailer has to do is ask for proof of age before selling tobacco products’ – Latrobe City Council Mayor, Cr Graeme Middlemiss.

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