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Council Crackdown on Illegal Cigarette Sales.

child smoking

A Wyndham City operation designed to prevent the sale of tobacco and e-cigarette products to children has resulted in a number of businesses receiving warning notices and infringements.

Between January and May 2022, 16 randomly selected tobacco and e-cigarette retailers were tested as part of Wyndham’s ongoing commitment to prevent the sale of tobacco to those under the age of 18.

The operation was part of Wyndham’s commitment, along with Municipal Association of Victoria, to undertake tobacco safety related activities such as test purchases for tobacco retailers.

Test Purchase Assistants under the age of 18 years old visited businesses with the aim of purchasing tobacco, cigarettes or e-cigarettes such as vapes. They were not allowed to lie about their age or present fraudulent identification in the process.

Three businesses sold tobacco to the Test Purchase Assistants, resulting in staff being fined $727 each. 

Wyndham City Mayor Cr Peter Maynard said: “It’s important that when it comes to something as serious as selling tobacco or e-cigarettes to a minor, that Wyndham businesses are on the same page in protecting the health of our community.”

“While it was encouraging that most businesses complied with the law, it is disturbing that cigarettes or e-cigarettes were still being sold to those under the age of 18.”

Wyndham City officers also made 64 onsite educational visits to businesses and provided further information to 180 businesses to ensure adequate staff training on tobacco laws had been complied with and that official training records were kept up to date, including sales to minors and display of tobacco and e-cigarettes.

“The outcome of these visits and this testing process can serve as a reminder to all Wyndham businesses about how vital it is to provide effective training of tobacco laws to staff, and the requirement on asking for identification when selling tobacco,” Cr Maynard said.

“This is a reminder to all Wyndham businesses to inform their staff of the importance of asking for ID when selling tobacco.”

For further information regarding the Tobacco Act, please refer to the Department of Health Tobacco Unit on https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/tobacco-reform or contact the Wyndham’s Environmental Health Unit on (03) 9742 0738.