Tobacco Sales Suspended at 14 LA Stores for Selling to Minors

Each of the stores are located within a half mile of schools, officials say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    In an effort to snuff out the sale of tobacco to minors in Los Angeles, city officials announced that tobacco sales will be suspended at retailers who have broken the law. Increased enforcement procedures were also announced. Ted Chen reports for NBC4 at noon on Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (Published Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014)

    In an effort to snuff out the sale of tobacco to minors in Los Angeles, city officials announced Tuesday that tobacco sales will be suspended at retailers who have broken the law.

    LA City Attorney Mike Feuer announced 30-day tobacco sale suspensions at 14 stores which have sold tobacco products to minors twice within the last five years.

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    "Each of these retailers is in a half a mile of schools," Feuer said at a press conference Tuesday. "We're increasing the number of compliance checks on tobacco retailers by nearly 60 percent in the year to come."

    Feuer detailed a pilot program being conducted at four middle schools where parents work with his to help identify problem retailers.

    Along with the suspensions, LA City Councilmembers Mitch O'Farrell and Nury Martinez announced a motion meant to test the effectiveness of existing tobacco sale policies and enforcement procedures.

    "Healthier communities is one of my top priorities," O'Farrell said in a statement. "I want to be sure we have the policy in place to protect young Angelenos and the right enforcement tools to make an impact."

    California already has implemented control measures meant to keep tobacco sales to minors in check.

    The Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement (STAKE) Act requires retailers to check identification for anyone who appears to be younger than 18 years old.

    Additionally, the act requires signs that warn customers and workers that tobacco sales to underage children is illegal.

    The penalties for selling tobacco to a minor in California range from $200 to $6,000, depending on how the case is prosecuted.

    Ted Chen contributed to this report.

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