A court case brought by North Yorkshire Trading Standards officers has resulted in a prosecution for selling cigarettes to an 11-year-old child.
Steven Ingles, aged 51 and from the Broadacres area of Harrogate has been fined £200 plus legal costs at for selling the child cigarettes at his home in August last year.
The prosecution was brought by North Yorkshire County Council as part of an on-going investigation by its Trading Standards officers into illegal sales of cigarettes and tobacco products in the county.
The court hearing took place just six days after No Smoking Day, the annual health awareness day aimed at promoting the dangers of smoking and helping users to quit.
County Council Chris Metcalfe, executive member for Trading Standards said:
We work closely with retailers to help them act responsibly in order to prevent underage sales of tobacco.
However, we will not hesitate to take action against any that ignore our advice – and the law.
Trading standards officers work with colleagues in our public health team to deliver the North Yorkshire Tobacco Control Strategy, which aims to deliver a smoke-free generation by 2025.
We will not allow the work of the tobacco control strategy to be undermined by anyone that tries to supply cigarettes illegally, especially to people as young as the11 year old in this case.
The North Yorkshire Tobacco Control Strategy is being delivered through a number of initiatives. These include education programmes; smoking cessation services; and an enforcement approach that has a zero tolerance against those who supply cigarettes to children.
County Councillor David Chance, executive member for public health said:
Under-age sale of cigarettes undermines the law and the excellent work we do with our partner organisation to deliver our tobacco control strategy.
We are committed to producing a smoke-free generation by 2025 by reducing the exposure of our most vulnerable young people to the availability of cigarettes and the health risks associated with the use of tobacco products.