SINGAPORE: The tobacco licences of 10 retailers have been suspended for six months after they were caught selling cigarettes to customers under 18 years old, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said.
“These 10 sellers did not ask for any identification to check the buyers’ age. They had claimed that they were busy or that the minors looked older than they were,” HSA said in a press release on Monday (Apr 16).
The 10 retailers are: Hao Mart at 505 Canberra Link and 323 Tah Ching Road, M R Pasir Ris Minimart at 230 Pasir Ris Street 21, NYK Minimart at 365B Upper Serangoon Road, Noor Supermart at 468 Hougang Avenue 8, Rasul MiniMart at 108 Bedok Reservoir Road, Sai Mart at 144 Teck Whye Lane, MCP Fairmart at 135 Jurong Gateway Road, Chennai Store at 456 Jurong West Street 41 and Luck Seng Coffee Stall at 115 Bukit Merah View.
It was the first offence for all 10 retailers, HSA said.
The retailers were caught via ground surveillance and enforcement activities to deter the illegal sale of tobacco products to those under 18 years old, it added.
Under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, anyone caught selling tobacco products to those below the age of 18 faces a 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, their tobacco retail licence will be suspended for six months for the first offence and revoked for the second offence. However, retailers found selling tobacco products to minors in school uniform or those below 12 years of age will have their tobacco retail licence revoked, even at the first offence.
From 2015 to date, 68 tobacco retail licences have been suspended and 10 have been revoked, HSA said.