first_imgA solicitor has questioned if a teenager used by the Health Service Executive in an underage smoking sting operation in Donegal looks older than she is.The teenager, who is 16 years of age, was sent into a filling station to purchase a packet of cigarettes.The girl, an unpaid volunteer, was not asked for identification at the Iscourt Falcarragh Service Station and successfully purchased a packet of 20 Silk Cut Purple cigarettes. The service station, the shop assistant and its operators Iscourt Ltd, were brought before Falcarragh District Court.They were charged under the sale of tobacco regulations for the offence on October 30th, 2013It is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 years.Environmental Health Officers carry out checks, known as test purchases, using underage volunteers, to make sure retailers are not breaking the law.Solicitor Margaret McGinley said her clients admitted the breach but stressed they operated strict control of the sale of cigarettes.As well as giving training to employees, the cash tills at the service station used prompters to remind operators to ask for proof of age when selling tobacco products.On the particular day of the incident, the shop was busy and the sales assistant was dealing with a queue of people.However Ms McGinley drew the attention of the profile picture of the unidentified girl used in the operation by the HSE.Ms McGinley, who agreed a birth certificate had been produced, said she had spoken to a number of colleagues and asked them to guess the age of the girl in the pictures.She said the answers ranged from 19 up to 25.However Judge Paul Kelly said the case demonstrated the need for employees and businesses to be “ultra careful” in such cases.“It is notoriously difficult to tell the age of young people and the best policy is to ask the question,” he said.He fined the operators Iscourt Ltd €100 and ordered them to pay €900 in costs.He also disqualified them from selling cigarettes for one day and gave the sales attendant the probation act.SOLICITOR QUESTIONS AGE PROFILE OF TEENAGER USED IN SMOKING STING OPERATION was last modified: March 20th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Falcarragh District CourtHSEIscourt Ltdunderage smokinglast_img

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