City tobacco sting nets eight outlets

Worst results from controlled purchase operation in Gisborne’s history.

Worst results from controlled purchase operation in Gisborne’s history.

TOBACCO-FREE ZONE: Tairawhiti Smokefree Coalition members Makere Kaa (representing Maori Women’s Welfare League), Dr Margot McLean (medical officer of health) and Jo Pere (Cancer Society representative) congratulate Wainui Store manager Israel Woods on the decision not to sell tobacco products. Picture by Liam Clayton

EIGHT out of 22 Gisborne retail outlets sold cigarettes to minors, the worst results of a controlled purchase operation in Gisborne’s history.

The results of the sting, carried out by the Hauora Tairawhiti Tobacco Control Team, were disappointing said medical officer of health Dr Margot McLean.

“This is the worst controlled purchase operation in Gisborne’s history. Retailers selling to a minor shouldn’t happen,” she said,

Volunteer teenagers under 18, and supervised by a Smokefree officer from Hauora Tairawhiti, visited 22 Gisborne retail outlets.

Eight retailers sold cigarettes to teenagers. These retailers have since been referred to the Ministry of Health for further enforcement action.

Dr McLean said this district had one of the highest youth smoking rates in the country.

“Although our rates are declining, 9 percent of our Year 10 youth are smoking regularly, according to the Ash Year 10 survey.

“With responsible retailers, we can make it harder for our young people to buy cigarettes. This will help reduce smoking in our district.”

All district health boards run tobacco controlled purchase operations regularly.

They use non-smoking volunteers aged 14 to 17 years of age who attempt to buy tobacco from shops.

The volunteers carry no identification. They are required to tell the truth about their age if asked by the retailer.

The Smoke-Free Environments Act prohibits the sale of tobacco to anyone under 18.

Hauora Tairawhiti and the New Zealand Government are committed to a goal of New Zealand becoming smoke-free by 2025.

Taki Tahi Toa Mano - Tairawhiti Smokefree Coalition agrees that the results are not good.

“Hauora Tairawhiti Smokefree Enforcement staff regularly provide information for retailers,” said group facilitator Aporina Chapman.

“We believe that should help to drop tobacco sales to youth.”

Wainui Store had made the decision not to sell tobacco products.

“We would like other retailers in Tairawhiti to follow the example of the Wainui Store.”

Israel Woods has been running Wainui Store for the last six months and says that it was an easy decision not to sell tobacco.

“Smoking and cigarettes don’t fit in with the home-cooked food and organic feel people associate with the Wainui Store.

“Tobacco theft is also an issue for businesses like ours. To not have any tobacco products on site makes it a safer place to work.”

Further information and free resources on the Smoke-free Environments Act are available from the Population Health team at Hauora Tairawhiti’s community health centre, 110 Peel Street.



EIGHT out of 22 Gisborne retail outlets sold cigarettes to minors, the worst results of a controlled purchase operation in Gisborne’s history.

The results of the sting, carried out by the Hauora Tairawhiti Tobacco Control Team, were disappointing said medical officer of health Dr Margot McLean.

“This is the worst controlled purchase operation in Gisborne’s history. Retailers selling to a minor shouldn’t happen,” she said,

Volunteer teenagers under 18, and supervised by a Smokefree officer from Hauora Tairawhiti, visited 22 Gisborne retail outlets.

Eight retailers sold cigarettes to teenagers. These retailers have since been referred to the Ministry of Health for further enforcement action.

Dr McLean said this district had one of the highest youth smoking rates in the country.

“Although our rates are declining, 9 percent of our Year 10 youth are smoking regularly, according to the Ash Year 10 survey.

“With responsible retailers, we can make it harder for our young people to buy cigarettes. This will help reduce smoking in our district.”

All district health boards run tobacco controlled purchase operations regularly.

They use non-smoking volunteers aged 14 to 17 years of age who attempt to buy tobacco from shops.

The volunteers carry no identification. They are required to tell the truth about their age if asked by the retailer.

The Smoke-Free Environments Act prohibits the sale of tobacco to anyone under 18.

Hauora Tairawhiti and the New Zealand Government are committed to a goal of New Zealand becoming smoke-free by 2025.

Taki Tahi Toa Mano - Tairawhiti Smokefree Coalition agrees that the results are not good.

“Hauora Tairawhiti Smokefree Enforcement staff regularly provide information for retailers,” said group facilitator Aporina Chapman.

“We believe that should help to drop tobacco sales to youth.”

Wainui Store had made the decision not to sell tobacco products.

“We would like other retailers in Tairawhiti to follow the example of the Wainui Store.”

Israel Woods has been running Wainui Store for the last six months and says that it was an easy decision not to sell tobacco.

“Smoking and cigarettes don’t fit in with the home-cooked food and organic feel people associate with the Wainui Store.

“Tobacco theft is also an issue for businesses like ours. To not have any tobacco products on site makes it a safer place to work.”

Further information and free resources on the Smoke-free Environments Act are available from the Population Health team at Hauora Tairawhiti’s community health centre, 110 Peel Street.



If you want help to quit smoking visit the new online and face-to-face smoking cessation service www.ONCEANDFORALL.co.nz or phone the Quitline on 0800778778.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Has New Zealand been too complacent about the global rise of far right politics and hate speech?