Tag Archives: cigarettes

Fewer Kitsap retailers selling tobacco to kids

tobacco

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.

Compliance checks dissuade illegal tobacco and alcohol sales

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A local drug and alcohol abuse prevention group conducted random compliance checks on alcohol and tobacco retailers last week. The results were promising.

blog.boozeThe Bremerton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition tested 22 alcohol retailers in the city to see if they would sell to minors. Only three made the illegal sales, according to a news release.

The coalition also checked nine tobacco retailers. None sold to minors.

The coalition is a partnership between Kitsap County, Bremerton Police and the state Liquor Control Board.

The agencies were assisted in the checks by investigative aides from youth groups at Emmanuel Apostolic Church and Living Life Leadership. The minors attempt to purchase tobacco or alcohol, and present their real identification or no identification when requested.

The checks are conducted regularly in an effort to dissuade illegal sales. Enforcement officers can fine or suspend businesses for violations.

Results from the Bremerton coalition’s checks were more positive than the findings of a state report released this year.  The Synar Report found many Kitsap County retailers willing to sell cigarettes to minors.

Kitsap leads state in rate of tobacco sales to minors

blog.tobaccoKitsap County store clerks led the state last year in their willingness to illegally sell cigarettes to minors.

That’s according to a report released Thursday by the state Department of Health. The annual Synar Report uses unannounced compliance checks to track illegal tobacco sales. During the checks, underage teens, working with law enforcement, attempt to buy cigarettes from randomly-selected retailers.

The Liquor Control Board carried out 28 random checks in Kitsap last year. Nearly 40 percent of the checks resulted in illegal sales to minors. That figure eclipsed the statewide average of 15 percent and landed Kitsap atop the list of worst offenders for the year. (Click on the graphic to expand).

DOH spokesman Tim Church cautioned that the small sample size means sales at a few stores can sway the numbers from year to year. Local health agencies should use the data to identify compliance trends over time, he said.

The trend in Kitsap isn’t encouraging. The county’s compliance rate steadily worsened since 2010, when about 9 percent of random checks resulted in sales.

“It’s bad news for Kitsap County for sure,” Kitsap Public Health District Administrator Scott Daniels said. “It’s bad news for health of the kids who buy tobacco, it’s bad for the whole community.” Continue reading