SINGAPORE - The licence of a retailer caught selling tobacco to an 11-year-old boy has been revoked.
Officers of the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), who acted on a tip-off from a member of the public, caught an employee of Sunshine Trading Centre selling cigarettes to a minor who was only 11 years old.
The employee did not check the boy's age before selling him the cigarettes. For committing the offence, the licence of the tobacco retail outlet at Upper Serangoon Road was revoked and it has not been allowed to sell tobacco products since September 1, 2013.
In another case, the licence of another tobacco retailer, Ghee Huat Provision Shop at Bendemeer Road was suspended for six months after an employee was caught selling cigarettes to a 14 year old.
The sellers in both cases were convicted in Court and fined $2,000 for their respective offences.
Under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, anyone caught selling tobacco products to persons below the age of 18 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 minors under-18 in school uniform or those below 12 years of age, the tobacco retail licence will be revoked, even at the first offence.
HSA warns the public not to buy any tobacco product on behalf of minors. Anyone caught buying or acquiring any tobacco product for a person below the age of 18 years is liable on conviction in Court, to a maximum fine of up to $2,500 for the first offence and up to $5,000 for the second or subsequent offence. Similarly, anyone caught giving or furnishing tobacco product to a person below the age of 18, is liable on conviction in Court, to a maximum fine of up to $500 for the first offence and up to $1,000 for the second or subsequent offence. 13 people have already been apprehended from January to August this year for buying/acquiring offences, as compared to 16 for the entire year of 2012.