SINGAPORE — Singapore authorities have suspended the licences of 10 tobacco retailers who sold cigarettes to underaged persons in the past year.
In a media statement on Friday (24 July), the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said the retailers were caught via HSA’s ground surveillance and enforcement activities. They had sold cigarettes to youths who were below the Minimum Legal Age (MLA), which applies to person under 19 years in 2019 and 20 years in 2020.
The suspensions were enacted between August 2019 and June 2020. The affected retailers are prohibited from selling tobacco products for six months.
The MLA to use, possess or buy tobacco products was raised to 20 years with effect from 1 January 2020, and it will be raised to 21 years with effect from 1 January 2021.
Under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, anyone caught selling tobacco products to persons below the MLA is liable to a maximum fine of up to $5,000 for the first offence and up to $10,000 for the second or subsequent offence. In addition, the tobacco retail licence will be suspended for six months for the first offence and revoked for the second offence.
Tobacco retail licensees are responsible for all transactions of tobacco products taking place at their outlets, as well as the actions of their employees.
From 2015 to June 2020, 102 tobacco retail licences were suspended and 16 were revoked by the HSA.
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