Fines issued to 7 Christchurch vaping stores following undercover stings

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Oct 30, 2022 |

Fines have been issued to 7 Christchurch vaping retailers following undercover stings.

This is despite public health staff visiting the retailers prior to the operation to ensure they were aware of their legal obligations.

Dr Cheryl Brunton, Waitaha Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, Te Whatu Ora National Public Health Service said the controlled purchase operations (CPO) is an important tool public health staff use to ensure retailers are compliant with the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990, particularly in relation to under age sales. 

“Unfortunately during recent CPOs seven out of 39 retailers failed to ask for identification and sold vape products to a 16 year old,” says Dr Brunton.

“Selling vape products to a minor is both illegal and unacceptable. These operations are carried out regularly for both tobacco and vape sales to protect our young people from the harmful impacts of vaping and smoking.”

The retailers who failed the CPO were: Discount Vapor (Woolston), Keyes Road Dairy, Better Life Dairy, Shosha (Riccarton), Shosha (High Street), Huff and Puff, and JDs Dairy.  

All seven premises have been issued with an infringement notice by the Ministry of Health. If any of the retailers breach the rules three times they could face prosecution.

Dr Brunton said the Smokefree Enforcement Officer in Canterbury has been working hard to educate retailers about their obligations.

“Prior to the CPO we received a number of complaints, so our public health staff visited all the retailers to ensure they were aware of their obligations under the Act.

“While it is frustrating that seven retailers failed CPOs in August and October, we will continue to work with the sector to prevent minors from being able to purchase vaping products.

“We take our compliance investigation role very seriously and we will continue to undertake general compliance testing of a range of retailers, particularly around age eligibility.”   

For more information on compliance with the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 or to discuss concerns about retailers selling tobacco or vape products to minors (under 18’s), please contact Te Mana Ora Community and Public Health on 03 364 1777.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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