Federal Way retailers caught selling tobacco to minors

From staff reports:

Recent tobacco retailer inspections in Federal Way found four out of 43 retailers selling tobacco to underage teens. Over the past six years, 19 retailers have been found selling tobacco to minors in Federal Way during 202 retailer inspections conducted by staff from Public Health - Seattle and King County, which also provided the information for this report.

Overall, King County’s high retailer compliance rate has dropped over the past two years from 96 percent in 2009 to 89 percent in 2011.

The four establishments cited are Market Smoke, 28841 Military Road South; Circle K/76, 33800 1st Way South; Corner Market, 27313 Pacific Highway South; and 7-Eleven, 104 SW 312th St.

According to a spokesman, Public Health recruits underage students who go into stores and try to buy tobacco. If asked, the students provide their age. These violations stem from the stores selling tobacco to the students without checking identification.

In Washington state, selling tobacco to a minor is prohibited by law and results in a fine for retailers of $100 for the first offense. The retailers are also educated about selling tobacco responsibly. The fine for a clerk is $50. Repeat offenders are fined up to $1,500 and may have their license to sell tobacco products suspended. Retailers refusing to sell tobacco to minors are congratulated in person and given an information packet.



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