Fewer Kitsap retailers selling tobacco to kids


Three years ago, Kitsap County had the highest rate of illegal tobacco sales to minors in the state, according to the Synar Report.

Local retailers performed better in compliance checks in the past two years.

After an alarming 39.3 percent sold to minors in 2013, 14.8 percent made illegal sales in 2014, followed by 13.3 percent in 2015 (see chart above).

20051230-071415-pic-363824317These numbers are based on relatively small sample sizes. Thirty compliance checks were conducted in Kitsap last year as part of the Synar study. There are about 200 tobacco retailers in the county.

During the checks, underage teens, working with law enforcement, attempt to buy cigarettes from randomly-selected retailers.

State health officials were discouraged by the statewide trend, as more than 17 percent of retailers sold to minors during compliance checks last year.

According to a news release, the state could lose federal funding for drug, alcohol, and tobacco prevention and treatment if the rate exceeds 20 percent.

“It is unacceptable that more than one in six retailers are illegally selling tobacco to minors,” Secretary of Health John Wiesman said in the release. “When kids get their hands on tobacco, it can lead to a lifetime of addiction, poor health, and early death.”

Surveys suggest tobacco use is declining among Kitsap teens, though vaping is on the rise.

You can find more Kitsap-specific tobacco stats here.

One thought on “Fewer Kitsap retailers selling tobacco to kids

  1. It may be on the decline of teens buying smokes, but that does not mean that the teens aint still smoking. I watch the kids who walk to school heading to Olympic High school, just walking down the road smoking. And any given time before school, those that walk to Oly will stop at the Castle park by the fairgrounds and have a smoke out before school. Now after school they will do it behind the park, because on sunny days there are a lot of parents with their kids at the park. So they just stand to the side. So don’t think they are not smoking. But I will also agree that the teens do have Vape pens. I have seen kids walking with those also. But of course if one was to ask their parents about their kids smoking, they would most likely say that their kids don’t smoke because they don’t smoke. Dumb.

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