21 Cited for Tobacco Violations 07/03/00

PHONE: 961-2254
JULY 3, 2000


Big Island police officers have cited 21 retailers in East Hawaii for illegally selling tobacco products to young people under the age of 18.

Working with the State Health Department’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division and the University of Hawaii’s Cancer Research Center, police conducted a sting operation in the East Hawaii area this past weekend.

The operation was conducted on Saturday (July 1, 2000) at 67 outlets in an area extending from Hamakua through Hilo to lower Puna. Police issued citations to 21 retail employees at establishments throughout the area.

Both federal regulations and state law make it a violation to sell tobacco in any form to anyone younger than 18. A first offense is punishable by a fine of $500 and subsequent offenses by a fine of up to $2,000.

Retail outlets selling tobacco products are also required to prominently display signs informing customers that they must be at least 18 years old to buy any kind of tobacco product.

Police conducted the sting operation to crack down on violators of the tobacco law and to check whether retailers are complying with the signage requirement.

Lieutenant Larry Weber of the Juvenile Aid Section said: “We will continue to enforce the law. We urge Big Island retailers both to familiarize themselves with the law and to comply with it.”

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