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Turia Pleased With Tobacco Sale Prosecution

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Turia Pleased With Tobacco Sale Prosecution

Tariana Turia says the conviction of a Manurewa dairy owner should send a clear message that breaches of the smoke-free legislation will not be tolerated.

The store owner was convicted and fined $1000 in the Manukau District Court yesterday for selling cigarettes to a person under 18-years-old.

"These retailers are clearly putting their own personal profit ahead of the future health of our young people and my message to those which flout the law is that we will catch you and when we do, we will prosecute you," Mrs Turia said.

Mrs Turia said selling tobacco to young people is not a trivial matter as research showed that 10% of youth become hooked on cigarettes within two days of first inhaling from a cigarette and 25% are addicted within a month.

"They become addicted to nicotine at an age when many do not realise the full consequences of smoking and we don't want our children having access to cigarettes - they kill around 5000 New Zealanders every year."

In the last year the Ministry of Health has taken over 30 prosecutions for the sale of tobacco to under-age people.

Auckland Regional Public Health spokesperson Andrew Lindsay is pleased the work being done in both prevention and enforcement is assisting efforts to stop children taking up smoking.

Programmes such as 'Keep Kids Smoke Free' assist with public health education and controlled purchase operations, where underage volunteers try and buy tobacco, target the minority of retailers which are breaking the law.

As the Associate Minister of Health, Mrs Turia is responsible for tobacco.

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