Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has suspended the tobacco retail licences of nine errant tobacco retailers who sold tobacco products to minors under 18 years of age.
HSA stated that they were caught via its ground surveillance and enforcement activities to deter the illegal sale of tobacco products to under-18 minors.
The retailers are:
- Everyday Come Coffee Shop, 477 Tampines Street 43
- Mini Mart @ 476 Pte Ltd, 476 Tampines Street 44
- JS Minimart, 950 Jurong West Street 91 #01-K1
- Shafen Supermarket, 424 Bukit Batok West Avenue 2
- Rainbow Mart, 806 Woodlands Street 81 #01-01
- Kurinji Stores, 350 Bukit Batok Street 34
- Chuan Lee Fruit & Mini-Mart, 835 Tampines Street 83
- Seng Yong Huat Minimart, 919 Hougang Avenue 4
- Sky Blue Trading, 7 Jalan Batu
HSA noted that all nine sellers did not ask for any form of identification to check the buyers’ age and had claimed that they were either busy or that the minors looked older than they were.
“Sellers are reminded that they take the risk of contravening the laws if they assess age by mere physical appearance of the buyer,” HSA stated.
HSA also said that all nine outlets were caught selling cigarettes to under-18 minors for the first time, noting that the suspension prohibits the errant retailers from selling tobacco products for six months.
HSA reminds tobacco retail licensees that they are responsible for all transactions of tobacco products taking place at their outlets, as well as the actions of their employees.
It also urges all tobacco retail licensees to educate their employees on the law pertaining to the sale of tobacco products and for sellers to check the age of those who wish to buy tobacco products.
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 6 months for the first offence and revoked for the second offence. However, if any outlet is found selling tobacco products to under-18 minors in school uniform or those below 12 years of age, the tobacco retail licence will be revoked, even at the first offence.
There has been 41 licences suspended and 8 revoked by HSA from 2015 to date.
In accordance with the licence application criteria, any person who commits an offence of selling tobacco to a person under 18 years of age will not be eligible to apply for a tobacco retail licence.
Members of the public can view the updated List of Suspended/Revoked Tobacco Retailers here.
HSA reminds the public not to supply any tobacco products to under-18 minors.
Anyone caught buying or acquiring any tobacco product for a person below the age of 18 years is liable, on a 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 any tobacco product to a person below the age of 18 is liable, on a 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.
From 2015 to date, 17 individuals have been caught for such offences.
HSA also encourages members of the public who have information on the illegal sale of tobacco products to under-18 minors to call the Tobacco Regulation Branch at 66842036 or 66842037 during office hours.