Singapore

Stores have tobacco licences suspended after selling to minors

A store's tobacco retail licence was suspended after the seller sold cigarettes to a 17-year-old, who was buying it for a 14-year-old.

The retailer is one of six that had their tobacco retail licences suspended for the illegal sale of tobacco products to under-18 minors, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) in a statement yesterday.

The culprits were caught via HSA's ground surveillance and enforcement activities. The 17-year-old is assisting HSA with investigations.

Anyone convicted of buying or acquiring any tobacco product for someone below 18 can be fined up to $2,500 for the first offence.

The suspensions took effect between July and last month and will last six months.

The six stores - 7-Eleven outlets at 639 Punggol Drive and 319A Anchorvale Drive; SM Mart; Ibrahim Trading; Gui Bin Minimart; and Big Retail Supermarkets - that had their tobacco retail licences suspended due to illegal sales to minors under 18. PHOTOS: HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY

Among those hit by the penalty are 7-Eleven outlets at 639 Punggol Drive and 319A Anchorvale Drive. The other retail outlets are SM Mart at 38 Teban Gardens Road, Ibrahim Trading at 411 Commonwealth Avenue West, Gui Bin Minimart at 296A Bukit Batok Street 22 and Big Retail Supermarkets at 764 Choa Chu Kang North 5. The sellers did not ask for any identification as they were busy or claimed the customers looked older than they were.

Anyone convicted of selling tobacco products to a minor below 18 can be fined up to $5,000 for the first offence and up to $10,000 for the subsequent offence. Their tobacco retail licence will also be suspended for six months for the first offence and revoked for the second one. - ADELINE TAN

COURT & CRIME