There are a couple of interesting points here.
Let’s examine the basis for this operation. It is illegal to sell cigarettes to someone under the age of 18, so presumably they used under-18s in their little game? There are two points to note here – illegal means against the law, and anyone under 18 is considered in law to be a child.
So for starters, what is the Health Service Executive doing policing the law? Surely policing the law is the job of the … er … police? If the HSE suspects that the law is being broken then it’s its responsibility to inform the proper authority, not go out and provoke the breaking of the law in the first place. I would argue that sending minors into a situation to provoke an illegal act is in itself an illegal act – an accessory before the fact as it were.
Then there are the children involved, for in the eye of the law they are indeed children if they are under 18. What age were they precisely? Were they 5 or 10 years of age? My betting is that they were 17 and quite a few months, probably dressed up to look older. And what were the terms of their employment? Were they paid to do this or were they scammed into doing it “for the good of society”? Children are being used by a government agency to provoke lawbreaking? Whichever way I look at it I would rate it as morally and ethically wrong, and tantamount to child abuse.
I didn’t even know there was a “HSE Tobacco Control Inspection Programme”. What the fuck is their purpose? Are they there primarily to inspect law enforcement, which is none of their fucking business. Are these the Stasi of Tobacco Control?
There people really are evil.