14 tobacco sellers' licences suspended for selling to underage youth

THE licences of 14 errant tobacco sellers here will be suspended for six months from today, after they were caught selling tobacco to underage youth, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) yesterday.

The offenders - which include restaurants and minimarts - were prosecuted and convicted between March and July.

Their licences will be suspended until Feb 29 next year.

They were also fined sums ranging from $1,500 to $2,500.

While two of the 14 licensees cancelled their licences before the suspension took effect, they will not be able to sell tobacco products or apply for a new tobacco licence during the six-month period.

Those two licensees are Aleef Provision Shop in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 and Weislin W Mart in Choa Chu Kang Way.

In a statement, HSA reminded all tobacco retailers that they are responsible for all sales of tobacco products at their outlets, as well as for the actions of their employees.

Under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, anyone caught selling tobacco products to persons below the age of 18 is liable to pay a fine of up to $5,000 for the first offence, and up to $10,000 for the second or subsequent offences.

In addition, the tobacco retail licence will also be suspended for six months for the first offence, and revoked for the second offence.

However, if any outlet is found to sell tobacco products to underage youth in school uniform or those below 12 years of age, the tobacco retail licence will be revoked immediately, even for the first offence.

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