Saturday, March 25, 2006

Kids and cigarettes

Is there any regulation here against selling tobacco to people under the age of 18? And if there is one, is it actually implemented?

The reason I ask is because I was grocery shopping at Choitram's one day, and two teenage boys (probably around 14 years old) were buying cigarettes. The man standing behind these 2 boys actually asked the oblivious cashier "are you allowed to sell cigarettes to underage kids?", at which point the cashier asked the 2 boys "who are these for?", to which one of the boys replied "it's for my father".

Now, maybe, just maybe, the boy was actually telling the truth, but we'll never know. He could have been buying the cigarettes so he and his friend can go hide behind a building to smoke...

In the US and in Canada, if the cashier has some doubts about your age, then he/she has the right (or actually, is obligated) to ask for your ID. If he/she is caught selling cigarettes to an underage person, then he/she is awarded a hefty fine.

All this to say, a very serious awareness campaign needs to take place to educate all shopkeepers (everyone, from hypermarkets, to the smallest of bakalas) about not selling tobacco to anyone under the age of 18. Not an easy task, to say the least.


nzm said...


Yes - ID is asked for in NZ too, and the shop is fined heavily if found selling cigarettes or alcohol to minors.

Again, I think that it comes down to educating the staff in the shops. Most of them have probably never worked in a shop before and don't think to ask about ID unless they're trained to do so.

Mirvat said...

DS, here, i'm still required to show my id when i'm 'obviously' above the age.
in lebanon, i don't think there's a law at all about that. little kids go in a buy cigarettes all the time for their folks.

DXB_Muslim said...

Hmm, another fault in developing too fast I guess, there are some good qualities in other societies that we do adopt. Or we adopt them too slow.

DXB_Muslim said...

Sorry, I meant "do NOT adopt"