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Five Convictions Shows Need For Tobacco Licence Say Ash

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is angered that a dairy owner has continued to thumb his nose at tobacco laws.

Sanjay Malaviy, owner of a Turangi convenience store has pleaded guilty to a charge of breaching an order not to sell tobacco products.

Mr Malaviya's appearance in the Taupo District Court on 7 May 2009 was his fifth conviction under the Smokefree Environments Act and he was convicted and fined $750 plus $130 court costs.

Last year he was fined and banned from selling tobacco products for two months. He has been convicted four times for selling cigarettes to kids as young as 12.

Mr Malaviya was also again personally prohibited from selling tobacco products for one month.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) director, Ben Youdan says Mr Malaviya shows a complete contempt for smokefree law.

"We have got to get real about our approach to tobacco, when retailers don't take the law seriously. We need to look at options such as a licensing system to provide a less costly way to enforce the law," says Mr Youdan.

Mr Youdan says options such as conditions on licences, such as suspension or cancellation of licences would be a better solution rather than legal action through the courts.

"With a licensing system in place his supply of tobacco products would have been cut off long ago. Tobacco companies would not be able to supply retail customers without a current, valid licence," says Mr Youdan.

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