7-Eleven store among 6 retailers caught selling tobacco products to minors

7-Eleven store among 6 retailers caught selling tobacco products to minors

7-eleven cigarette cabinets
An opaque cabinet that stores cigarettes and other tobacco products at a 7-Eleven store. (Photo: Monica Kotwani)

SINGAPORE: Several retailers, including a 7-Eleven outlet, have had action taken against them for selling cigarettes to minors under the age of 18 - including to one as young as 13, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said on Thursday (Jul 12). 

One retailer, Mohamed Buhari Trading, had its tobacco retail licence revoked after it was caught selling cigarettes to a 17-year-old minor wearing their school uniform. 

The retailer, located at 103 Teck Whye Lane, will no longer be able to sell tobacco products. 

TOBACCO RETAIL LICENCES SUSPENDED

Five other retailers, including a 7-Eleven outlet in Simei, had their tobacco retail licences suspended for six months after selling cigarettes to under-18 minors for the first time. 

According to HSA, one of the sellers had sold cigarettes to a 13-year-old and claimed she had not checked for any identification because she was unwell.

The other sellers had claimed that they had not requested for any identification because they were busy or that the minors looked older than they were.

The outlets with suspended licences are: Eng Lee & Co at 57 Lengkok Bahru, Hla Lay New at 303 Jurong East Street 32, Kee Guan Huat Supermarket at Blk 308 Clementi Avenue 4, Sathya Mini Mart at 242 Serangoon Avenue 3 and 7-Eleven at 30 Simei Street 3.

MEMBERS OF PUBLIC ALSO LIABLE IF CAUGHT SELLING CIGARETTES TO MINORS

HSA warned that sellers take the risk of contravening the laws if they assess age by mere physical appearance of the buyer.

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 S$5,000 for the first offence and up to S$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 an outlet is found selling tobacco products to under-18 minors in school uniforms or to those below the age of 12, their tobacco retail licence will be revoked even at the first offence, said HSA.

HSA has suspended a total of 73 tobacco retail licences and revoked 11 since 2015.

Members of the public are also liable if they are found to have bought tobacco products for under-18 minors. 

If found guilty, they can face a maximum fine of up to S$2,500 for the first offence and up to S$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 conviction in court, to a maximum fine of up to S$500 for the first offence and up to S$1,000 for the second or subsequent offence.

Eighteen individuals have been caught for such offences since 2015.

Source: CNA/aa

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