Spot checks on stores in bid to stop under-age smoking

Spot checks are to be 
carried out on stores in East Dunbartonshire in a bid to crack down on under-age smoking.

East Dunbartonshire Council is recruiting young people 
under the age of 16 to act as “mystery shoppers”.

Stores will be targeted at random to check they are not selling cigarettes and tobacco products to children.

At the December meeting of the council’s social work committee, plans for the recruitment of the young people were 
discussed as part of the council’s smoking enforcement 
activity.

Evonne Bauer, community protection manager at the council said afterwards, “East Dunbartonshire Council has
an active under-age test 
purchase programme which has been in place for a number of years.

“Young volunteers are 
recruited throughout the year to help us administer the 
programme in accordance with Crown Office guidelines.”

In 2013, the Scottish Government’s five-year tobacco control strategy, Creating a Tobacco-Free Generation, set a target to reduce smoking prevalence in Scotland to five per cent or less by 2034.

The strategy sets out a range of measures including supporting young people to choose not to smoke.

A Scottish government spokesman said: “Reducing smoking, one of the world’s leading causes of premature deaths, remains a priority for improving health in Scotland.”