Kelowna Safeway store fined for selling tobacco to a minor | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna Safeway store fined for selling tobacco to a minor


Interior Health has handed the downtown Kelowna Safeway store with a $575 fine earlier this month for selling tobacco to someone under 19 years old.

The health authority sent a teenaged secret shopper into the grocery store to buy a tobacco product and either the minor's ID wasn't check or the sale wasn't refused.

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A Interior Health spokesperson said in a written statement it hires minors — who are usually 15 to 17 years old — to test whether or not store employees will sell them tobacco and vape products.

The young people work with the health authority's enforcement officers.

It's not clear when the health authority sent the secret shopper to the store but the ticket was issued, March 2. Interior Health was likely monitoring the store before sending in the secret shopper.

"Interior Health follows a progressive enforcement approach and prior to issuing a ticket, the retailer will receive a warning letter with no fine," the written statement from Interior Health said.

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Safeway can dispute the ticket but Interior Health didn't say how long that window would remain open or whether it has already done so.

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