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Aberdeen newsagent receives Scotlandís first tobacco retail banning order
An Aberdeen newsagent has become the first in Scotland to be banned from selling tobacco products following an investigation by Council Trading Standards officers.
The City Council applied for a tobacco retail banning order against Shriraj Gindha, trading as Tony's Newsagent, Victoria Road, Torry, after he was caught selling tobacco products to under age customers on numerous occasions.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court granted the banning order on Tuesday [04 February].
It is the first such order granted against a registered tobacco retailer in Scotland and will be in place for 12 months.
Despite repeated warnings and advisory visits from Aberdeen City Council's Trading Standards team, Mr Gindha continued to sell tobacco products to under age customers.
The shop sold packets of cigarettes to 16-year-old test purchasing volunteers on three separate occasions between October 2011 and August 2013.
This was in addition to another illegal sale in August 2011, for which the shop owner was issued a warning letter by Council Trading Standards officers.
Aberdeen City Council Trading Standards team leader Graeme Paton said: "Despite numerous advisory visits, repeated warnings and fixed penalty notices, Mr Gindha continued to sell cigarettes to our 16-year-old test purchasing volunteers, never asking for proof of age or their date of birth.
"In light of repeated offending, we had little option but to seek an order from the court banning him from selling tobacco products.
"This was an extreme case and the majority of tobacco retailers in the city comply with the law. Those who do fail a test purchase visit rarely do so a second time.
"While we are pleased with the outcome of this case, we prefer to work with tobacco retailers to prevent illegal sales rather than take matters to court. I am pleased to say that almost all retailers in Aberdeen are receptive to this approach."
Graeme added: "Legitimate retailers comply with the law and are registered to sell tobacco with the Scottish Government. They are responsible and do all they can to avoid selling cigarettes to anyone under age.
"Our Trading Standards team is on hand to offer advice and support to retailers and the public about issues relating to the sale of tobacco and can be contacted on 01224 523737."
Under the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010, all tobacco retailers are required to be registered with the Scottish Government.
A local authority can apply to have a retailer banned from selling tobacco products where they breach the 2010 Act three times within a two year period.