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Illegal Tobacco Sales to Minors Reaches new Low

Illegal tobacco sales to minors have fallen to their lowest level on record in California, but it appears parts of Nevada County still have a ways to go.   The California Department of Public Health, 2011 Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey found that tobacco sales to minors at retail outlets occurred at a rate of 5.6 percent – the lowest rate in the survey’s 16-year history.    In a recent sting operation in Nevada County, no sales to minors were reported in Nevada City, in Grass Valley the rate was 13 percent and in Truckee nearly a third of the retail outlets were selling tobacco to minors.  Lynn Skrukrud, the Youth Coordinator for the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County says it’s important to stop sales to minors.

“90% of smokers started smoking before the age of 18 and so I think people are starting to realize how important it is for minors not to be able to get a hold of tobacco.”

Although the illegal sales rate to minors was lower than previous years, there are still store types with high illegal sales rates. Stores that are considered non-traditional tobacco retailers, including donut shops, discount stores, deli/meat markets, gift stores and produce markets, have a higher illegal sale rate of 9-point 8 on average.

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