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Retailers at risk on youth sales

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Teen smoking

JUST over half of Scotland’s retailers are challenging young adult customers for ID when purchasing cigarettes, the latest report from the Responsible Tobacco Retailing (RTR) Programme has revealed.

RTR found 53% of Scottish retailers challenged its test purchasers, aged 18 and 19, for identification – the UK average for ID checks was 54%.

The report also found young members of staff aged 18 or under are the least likely to challenge young adults for ID, with those in their 30s the most likely to do so.

Analysis carried out by RTR as part of the report found that while effective documented staff training appears to reduce youth access to tobacco, 79% of UK retailers have no documented training in place, with 63% providing verbal training which is undocumented and 16% providing no training at all.

Tony Allen of Under Age Sales, which provides free training to retailers identified as “at risk” of carrying out underage sales, and also manages the RTR programme, said the 2016 report findings are an improvement on the previous year, but suggested there are still many retailers in need of support.

“We want to work together to not only guarantee young people are unable to purchase cigarettes and tobacco, but also safeguard retailers against the potential execution of such transactions,” he said.

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