Argyll and Bute Council’s Trading Standards team have found 22 percent of shopkeepers on Islay are selling cigarettes to customers as young as 14.
Staff organised an operation using volunteers under the age of 18 to try and buy cigarettes in various shops on the island. Despite the traders of Islay being told they would be tested using volunteers attempting to buy age restricted goods, illegal sales were still being made. 22% of Islay traders sold cigarettes to a 14 year old.
Officers routinely carry out inspections at all shops and provide businesses with advice on how they can comply with the laws that apply to them.
Chair of the Planning Protective Services and Licensing Committee, Councillor Danny Kelly said, “It is great news that the majority of the traders listened to the advice given and challenged the young people trying to buy cigarettes, but it is still disappointing that some traders are ignoring the law.
“Every year more than 100,000 people die from smoking related causes and two thirds of smokers start before they are 18. We want to protect the health of the young people of Argyll & Bute. Traders should be aware that the council’s trading standards team will be back on Islay and if they ignore the law then they may find themselves having to answer for their actions in court”.
Traders seeking advice should call Argyll and Bute Council’s Trading Standards team on 01546 604 404.