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  • 30.06.2014 Alexandria Tobacco Users Are Unhappy With New Law

    There is a certain irony to it, some have said.Smokers in Alexandria will have to leave local discount cigarettes stores to light up the products they just bought there.At least 25 feet from the stores to be exact, starting Jan. 1 after the Alexandria City Council passed an ordinance Oct. 4 banning smoking cigarettes in businesses previously exempt from state and local smoking cigarettes bans, including bars and buy cigarettes stores.And some tobacco users are not happy."They think the City Council way overstepped their boundaries," said Vonne Neal, owner of Alexandria's Smoke Shop." With...

  • 09.11.2012 Southern Board Bans Tobacco

    All of Southern University’s campuses will ban cigarettes store starting in January, the Southern Board of Supervisors decided.The move makes Southern the first college system in Louisiana to ban all cigarettes products. Nicholls State University became the first public college in Louisiana to become tobacco free at the beginning of this calendar year.Southern University System President Ronald Mason Jr. said the new policy is about promoting healthy lifestyles and setting a quality standard for all of higher education.“We’re going to look at it as the beginning of a cultural...

  • 18.10.2012 New Jersey Considers New Taxes On Non-cigarette Tobacco Products

    Little cigars, which are taking increasing space on area tobacco-shop shelves, are shaped and smoked just like cigarettes. But because New Jersey taxes them differently, they cost nearly one-third the price.Over the past several years, increased state and federal taxes have helped turn some smokers on to less-taxed cigarettes store products, local shop owners and anti-smoking cigarettes groups say.New Jersey has a $2.70 tax per cigarette pack, and the federal government has a $1.01 excise tax it enacted two years ago.That sixth-highest cigarette tax in the country may entice more smokers to...

  • 10.09.2012 Free Patches For Smokers

    Quitting smoking cigarettes just got a little easier. For a limited time, the California Smokers' Helpline is sending callers from Nevada County free nicotine patches. Eligible cigarettes store users who call 1-800-NO-BUTTS and enroll in the free telephone-based cessation program will receive a free two-week starter kit of patches, while supplies last.The patches are an FDA-approved treatment proven to help smokers kick the habit. They release nicotine into the bloodstream through the skin, reducing withdrawal symptoms and slowly weaning smokers off nicotine. Nevada County was one of 34...

  • 09.09.2012 Films Subsidized By State Promote Smoking

    California taxpayers subsidize major motion pictures that depict smoking cigarettes, which promotes the unhealthy habit and undermines efforts to keep young people from lighting up, according to UCSF researchers.In a report published Tuesday in PLoS Medicine, the researchers say the state and other governments may be violating their own health policies and goals when they subsidize or offer tax credits to makers of movies that directly or indirectly promote smoking cigarettes."We have a situation where governments today are now spending taxpayer money to sell discount cigarette online to...

Region’s Illegal Tobacco Sales Spike

More than a third of businesses that officials recently checked in southwest North Dakota sold discount cigarette online to minors, according to information released by the Southwestern District Health Unit on Friday.

“We were very, very surprised when we saw the results,” said Tammy Hovet, Tobacco Prevention and Control project coordinator for SWDHU.

Twenty-two of 63 businesses checked in eight counties sold cigarettes to minors in September and October, she said. The data shows a sharp spike in illegal sales, since a check of 65 businesses in the same counties in June turned up eight.

“We’re frustrated with the increase and we are looking into what to do to improve this,” Hovet said. “Something needs to be done.”

All the businesses have training manuals spelling out how to determine if somebody is a minor, she said.

In addition, the check showed employees at seven businesses asked for the minor’s identification, which showed their true age, and then sold tobacco to them anyway.

“We’re finding that they actually look at the IDs and they believe that if they look at the IDs that they’re doing their job,” Hovet said. “You actually have to look at the ID and read that they aren’t old enough to be sold tobacco.”

An employee of Creative Energy in South Heart, which failed the check, did not ask the minor for identification. Galen Teichert, general manager, said employees are trained to ask.

“If they look like they’re young — 27 and below — we should be trying to card them,” Teichert said.

He is unsure why the employee didn’t follow training.

“We did talk to a couple of retailers who did sell and a couple of them said right now it’s so hard to hire employees and it seems like they’re constantly changing, too,” Hovet said.

“They’re just falling through and not getting the training that they need because they’re hiring them so quickly.”

Beach Food Center Manager Jim Kary said he was unaware the business failed the check.

“We’ve failed one or two in the past,” he said. “The problem is with our younger kids, the school kids that work for us, sometimes they have a hard time reading the ID.”

Not every county had failures, Hovet said.

“Adams County did great,” Hovet said. “There were four businesses checked and nobody sold in Adams County.”

The one Slope County business checked also passed, she said.

SWDHU conducts the checks by having a person younger than 18 try to purchase tobacco while an adult waits outside the business, Hovet said.

“They must show their identification if asked,” she said. “While conducting the compliance checks they have to dress how they would normally. They don’t attempt to make themselves look older.”

If asked, the minor is supposed to give their actual age, Hovet said.

However, the minor who purchased tobacco at the Regent Co-op falsely told the clerk they were 20, she said. The clerk did not check identification.

Once the information about sales is compiled, it is up to each community to decide how to enforce regulations, Hovet said.

Managers at several of the businesses who failed checks declined comment or were unavailable for comment Friday.

Please see our print edition for a list of the businesses failing the tobacco compliance checks.


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