In 2012, eight businesses illegally sold products to those Health Department shoppers. Five of those citations were for first offenses, so the store in question did not lose its tobacco license.
The other three businesses are appealing the decision and will go before an administrative hearing soon to decide their cases.
The upcoming workshops, which will be held at the County Health Department on Feb. 27, are open to all clerks, supervisors and staff who sell tobacco products. There is a $20 registration fee per person.
Clinton County Health Department staff members have received specialized training to hold the sessions.
This year’s presentation will also focus on new laws pertaining to the use of shisha, herbal cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, which are prohibited by law for people 18 and under.
The Health Department also conducts adult-compliance checks with annual visits to retail outlets to ensure the stores are in line with the law.
“We are doing whatever we can to minimize sales to minors,” said John Kanoza, director of the Environmental Division. “We’re hoping that our efforts can make a big difference (in reducing sales to minors).”
MATTER OF PRINCIPLE
For Sue Lintner Kinne, co-owner of Cadyville Gulf with husband, Dan Kinne, adhering to the tobacco-sales laws is just a matter of principle.
“I am very strict with my employees about checking proof of age if there is any question at all,” she said during a recent adult-compliance check at the popular business. “If the customer isn’t happy (with being asked for ID), then they can go somewhere else.”
Lintner Kinne and several of her employees have attended the Health Department sessions, and she said the education was very useful in helping her store stay in compliance.
“It’s been six years (since she and her husband took ownership of the store), and my staff have been very supportive throughout,” she said.