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Stores in Oneida Co. could be fined if tobacco-based products are sold to minorsSubmitted: 02/16/2017

Allie Herrera
Reporter/Anchor
aherrera@wjfw.com

ONEIDA COUNTY - Underage kids should never get their hands on cigarettes. But, here in Oneida County, illegal sales keep going up. Oneida County is at an 11.3% illegal sales rate, while the state overall is at 7%.

The Oneida County Health Department wants to stop the sale of tobacco-based products to minors.

"90% of adult smokers started before they were 18 years old's so we want to make sure that we can keep these products out of youth's hands," said Oneida County Health Department Community Health Specialist Maria Otterholt.


That's why the health department is reinforcing a state law that bans the sale of tobacco products to people under the age of 18. It also requires staff selling these products to be trained.

"We want to see everyone well educated on how to check an ID. [It] certainly can be confusing. We want to make sure that they have the tools and resources they need and stop those sales from happening," said Otterholt.

Stores in Oneida County that sell tobacco products to underage kids could face a $263.50.

One fine will be given to the owner of the store and another to the clerk who sold the product.

"By making the fine go to the owner and the clerk who sold kind of give a little more responsibility and ownership to that business to say, 'we [have] to take this seriously.' We can't let these tobacco products slide across the counter to our youth."

The health department can give free training to any stores wanting more information.

There is also a free website that walks through the necessary training.

For more information on the website, click on the link below.



Related Weblinks:
Smoke Check Website

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