Report: Illegal tobacco sales to minors increase

February 19, 2013

By Staff

The number of Washington retailers illegally selling tobacco to minors is at the highest level in more than a decade, according to a recent report from the state Department of Health.

State health officials said about 16 percent of retailers offering tobacco illegally sold the substance to minors between January and June. The figure is up from 11 percent last year and 10 percent in 2010.

If the rate of retailers selling tobacco to minors exceeds 20 percent, Washington could lose almost $14 million in federal funding for drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention and treatment.

Clerks who sell tobacco to minors face fines up to $100 and retail owners face fines up to $1,500. The state can permanently revoke licenses to sell tobacco after multiple violations.

 

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