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Underage cigarette sales detection rate doubles in 12 months

West Tyrone assembly member Daniel McCrossa is concerned by a rise un the number of underage cigarette sales detected
Connla Young

THE number of business detected selling cigarettes to people under 18 across the north has doubled in just 12 months.

The figures released by the Department of Health following a question from West Tyrone SDLP assembly member Daniel McCrossan this week.

They show that between April 2014 and March 2015 58 under-age sales were detected.

However, between April 2015 and March this year the number had jumped to 100.

Until this year the number of detections had remained steady with 53 businesses caught between April 2011- March 2012, 48 in April 2012- March 2013 and 74 between March 2013 – April 2014.

The operations to catch those selling cigarettes to children is usually carried out by local councils.

Mr McCrossan said he was concerned by the increase in shops selling cigarettes to under-age people.

“The reason for this ban is to protect the health of young people and to move toward a smoke-free society,” he said.

“All of the research points to the fact that younger people are most detrimentally impacted by the effects of smoke inhalation, even through passive smoking.

“Preventing nicotine addiction as early as possible makes huge savings for our health service in the long term as well as improving the health outcomes for many individuals."

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