More Convenience, Vape Shops Cited for Selling To Minors

cigarettes

PHOENIX – The Arizona Attorney General’s Office is warning parents that there has been a recent uptick in sales of tobacco products to minors in Arizona. After seeing a steady decline in recent years, the Attorney General’s Tobacco Enforcement Unit attributes the recent spike of failure rates to the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.

The Attorney General’s Tobacco Enforcement Unit (TEU) is seeing more retailers across Arizona fail undercover tests when it comes to selling tobacco products to minors. After seeing a steady decline in recent years, TEU attributes the recent spike of failure rates to the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.

Throughout the year, TEU conducts undercover inspections utilizing youth volunteers to check if convenience stores and smoke shops are selling tobacco products to minors. The program is called Operation Counter Strike. From July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, the statewide failure rate dropped to 9.8%, the lowest annual failure rate ever recorded by the Attorney General’s Office. However, thereafter the failure rate increased, with a 13% failure rate recorded for calendar year 2018. So far in 2019, more than 580 inspections have been conducted, and the failure rate has increased to 15%.

The upward trending failure rate is attributed to the sale and purchase of e-cigarettes, which are sold more often to youth than cigarettes. Recent data demonstrates that 51% of high school-aged kids have tried vaping. The Food and Drug Administration recently announced that e-cigarette use rose 78% among high school students and 48% among middle school students nationwide from 2017 to 2018.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, during a typical Counter Strike inspection, if an individual sells a tobacco product to a youth volunteer, he/she may receive a citation for furnishing tobacco to a minor. This is an offense with a potential fine of $300. Additionally, the business also may be fined up to $1,000 per offense.

1 Comment

  1. Wish they would put the same effort into cking where teens are getting Illegal drugs and pot
    And Securing our Borders
    Where the real problems are comibg in and destorying our teens
    The dangerous drugs seems to me should be top of the list not vaping Yes that matters also
    But not as important as deadly drugs they are getting in schools
    destorying childrens lives
    Spreading LE to thin
    The city should do this work since they are the ones giving the licenses Have City council go out and earn their pay for once
    LE is needed for more important jobs
    Your Mayor, City Councils etc should be doing this job. not the AG

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