Underage Sales Alert: Local Tobacco and E-cigarette Shops Busted for Selling to Minors

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Multiple tobacco and e-cigarette retailers in Southington, Connecticut were caught selling to minors during a recent crackdown by local authorities.

According to a report from local US media outlet Patch on December 17, several tobacco and e-cigarette retail stores in Southington, Connecticut, were investigated and penalized by local law enforcement authorities for selling tobacco and e-cigarettes to minors during a compliance check on December 11.

According to local organization STEPS, several retail stores have been reported on Friday. These include Cigar and Vape, Sunoco, and Vape and Tobacco World.

According to reports, the enforcement operation was initiated by the Sassinton Police Department and the Tobacco and Vape Product Enforcement Program (TPEP) of the State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. STEPS stated that the operation took place without prior notice and involved a legal compliance review of four retailers.

A retail store employee has been fined $300 for selling cigarettes or e-cigarettes to individuals under the age of 21. According to law enforcement, the legislation stipulates that anyone who appears to be under the age of 30 must present an identification card when purchasing tobacco or e-cigarette products.

STEPS highlighted that e-cigarettes are increasingly becoming a concerning issue, especially locally. The organization unveiled some shocking statistics on the use of e-cigarettes in the area last Friday. These include a 33% increase in e-cigarette usage among students between 2020 and 2022. The data for 2022 also revealed that 12% of students had engaged in smoking behavior in the past 30 days, compared to just 9% in 2020.

“Prohibiting the access of tobacco and e-cigarette products to teenagers is an essential means to prevent their usage, hence we express gratitude to the shops and store clerks who abide by state regulations,” stated STEPS in a press release.

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