She found violations of the law at 17 of the 22 tobacco sellers that were targeted by the inspectors. He will initiate administrative proceedings for the imposition of a fine with all of them, and at the same time, due to the unsatisfactory results, inspections of this segment will continue, the spokesman for the inspection, Pavel Kopřiva, said in a press release.
Merchants may not sell tobacco products or nicotine pouches without tobacco to people under the age of 18. In some cases, the inspectorate also cooperated with minor extras. “Sellers did not have an electronic system in place to unambiguously verify the age of shoppers. The most frequently identified deficiency was the complete absence of any age verification system, or insufficient functionality of the established system – for example, age verification only at the point of sale or through a delivery service. Some of the operators also failed to fulfill their registration obligation towards the Ministry of Health,” Kopřiva described.
There are several ways to verify age when shopping online, but simply checking the box that the shopper is 18 is not enough. This is, for example, proof of identity using a bank identity, machine processing of identity documents, age can also be verified during personal registration. “The inspection also emphasizes that verification of the age of shoppers is required in two steps, when buying on the Internet and when receiving from a delivery service or when receiving in person,” said Kopřiva.
A recent survey showed that in the Czech Republic, roughly a fifth of children between the ages of 13 and 15 use tobacco products, a fifth like electronic cigarettes, and around eight percent of pupils use nicotine patches. These are the results of the GYTS (Global Youth Tobacco Survey) global research, in which the State Institute of Health was also involved. Last year, 3,190 pupils aged 13 to 15 took part in it in the Czech Republic. Smoking and the use of nicotine products such as electronic cigarettes, heated tobacco or pouches, according to pulmonologists, contribute to the development of diseases such as lung cancer, tuberculosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.