Quarter of Umatilla Tobacco Dealers Caught Selling to Minors
According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials, over a quarter of Umatilla County tobacco-cigarette dealers failed when it came to properly asking for ID of potential customers, and sold tobacco to those under 18. This could lead to some significant changes.
The FDA says they ran a sting operation that included 60 attempts to buy tobacco at 51 stores. Some 14 didn't pass, according to the East Oregonian.
Oregon is one of 14 states that don't require retailers to have a tobacco selling license, but this poor performance could change that. Officials say the 25% failure rate is way too high.
Fines can range anywhere from $200 to $2,000 for the clerk and the store, depending upon the number of infractions, when it comes to selling to minors.
While Umatilla's tobacco use rates among young teens is about the state average of 4.3 percent saying they've tried it, by 11th grade it jumps to 17.8%, twice the state average
Officials say the legislature considered licensing retailers, but with that come additional fees. The county itself may consider such licensing fees, which would be a bit less expensive.