Retail licenses suspended

Six Singaporean tobacco retailers that sold cigarettes to people under the age of 18 have had their licenses for selling tobacco products suspended for six months, according to a story in The Straits Times quoting a statement by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA).
The HSA said the six had not asked for identification to check the buyers’ ages.
It said the staff involved had said they were too busy to ask for identification or that the minors had looked older than their ages.
Sellers, the HSA said, took the risk of contravening the law if they assessed age by physical appearance alone.
It said that tobacco retailers were responsible for all sales of tobacco products taking place at their outlets.
Retailers will have a job on their hands training staff for the future. The minimum legal age to use, possess or buy tobacco products will be raised to 19 next year. And it will be increased to 20 in 2020, and 21 from 2021.
Under current laws, anyone convicted of selling tobacco products to a person under 18 can be fined up to S$5,000 for a first offence. Repeat offenders face a fine of up to S$10,000.
In addition, a seller’s tobacco retail license is liable to be suspended for six months for a first offence and revoked for a second offence.
However, if buyers are minors dressed in school uniform or below 12 years old, the outlet’s retail license is liable to be revoked for a first offence.
Since 2015, the HSA has suspended 79 retail licenses and revoked 11 others.