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Cigarette retailers are compliant

Monday, 19th August, 2013

A recent check by the health service found Broken Hill tobacco retailers were complying with the law. A recent check by the health service found Broken Hill tobacco retailers were complying with the law.

By Andrew Robertson

Compared to other parts of NSW, Broken Hill’s cigarette retailers appear to be a law-abiding lot, according to the health service.

The Far West Local Health District (FWLHD) said yesterday that a compliance check of tobacco retailers in the city found all were complying with legislation.

The findings come as a Cancer Council audit of 1700 tobacco retailers across NSW found one in four broke at least one of the laws to do with selling cigarettes.  

This included not displaying compulsory health warnings and illegally keeping cigarettes in full view.

The audit, which included regional centres, also found that some retailers were selling cigarettes without the government’s knowledge. 

These unlisted retailers, and those in disadvantaged areas, were more likely to break the law, according to the Cancer Council which has called on the NSW government to limit the number of tobacco outlets.

While it’s unclear if the audit included any retailers in Broken Hill, a spokeswoman for the FWLHD said its recent compliance check gave retailers here the all clear.

“No sale of tobacco to minors was detected in Broken Hill and only one case in the far west. This is currently being investigated for further action.”

She said officers also checked on tobacco product retailers to ensure they were complying with regulations under the public health act.

“This included checking to ensure correct signing was used and tobacco products were not on display.

“All retailers were found to be complying with legislation.”

Greens MP John Kaye said the Cancer Council’s findings showed tobacco laws were failing and the State Government must introduce a licensing system similar to the one governing alcohol sales.

“The O’Farrell government should require all sales of a product that kills one in two people who use it as recommended to be licensed and heavily regulated.”

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) also urged the NSW government to introduce licensing regulations.

But the health service said retailers already faced penalties if they were caught breaching laws.

Under the legislation, retailers who are convicted of selling cigarettes to children or breaching other regulations on at least two occasions in any three-year period will automatically be banned from selling tobacco for specified periods.

“The NSW Government has made significant inroads in strengthening tobacco control efforts in NSW with the recent smoke-free reforms and is focussed on ensuring these reforms are well embedded in the community.” -BDT/AAP

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