Crackdown on teen tobacco sales in Minot succeeding

Saturday was a red letter day for Minot police and retail merchants in the city licensed to sell tobacco.

The Minot Police Department conducted tobacco sales compliance checks at every locally licensed tobacco retailer in the city on Saturday. And, well…we’ll let a police spokesman give the big news.

“We are excited to announce that all 33 licensed businesses PASSED these checks, resulting in 100% compliance by refusing to sell to our volunteer minors sent in to attempt to purchase tobacco products. This marks the first time that 100% compliance has been achieved in two consecutive compliance checks,” said Senior Officer Aaron Moss in a news release making the announcement.

That is indeed terrific news, but read on.

“We were also pleased to learn that not only did the tobacco merchants refuse to sell to minors, some took the added step to explain to our volunteers the dangers of tobacco use and discourage them from trying to buy tobacco products again,” Moss said.

Even better. It will take that kind of united force to steer our children away from peer-pressure products such as tobacco and e-cigarettes now and into the future.

Moss explained that the compliance checks of licensed tobacco retailers are required by Minot Code of Ordinances which also provides for the lawful utilization of youth volunteers for this purpose.

So what are the consequences in Minot for selling tobacco to a minor?

– $50 fine for the clerk.

– The business would face a civil penalty according to the following schedule.

Within a 12 month period:

1st offense…..$100 penalty.

2nd offense…tobacco license suspended for 7 days.

3rd offense…tobacco license suspended for 30 days.

4th offense…tobacco license suspended for 1 year.

Those are steep but we think fair penalties for breaking this particular law. Obviously the potential loss of revenue has a lot to do with the progress Minot has made in preventing illegal tobacco sales to minors. But the businesses and their employees are also to be commended.

Great job…keep it up.