Press Releases

Wednesday 11/14/2012 4:29 PM - Tobacco Sting

Contact: Sergeant A. Perry
Phone: (805) 473-7100
Type of Incident: Tobacco Sting
Date and Time of Incident: N/A
Place of Occurrence: Unincorporated Area of San Luis Obispo County
Victim Information: N/A
Suspect Information: N/A
Details of News Release: TOBACCO STING CONDUCTED IN SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY - 6 STORES CAUGHT SELLING TO MINORS, SALES RATE IMPROVES The San Luis Obispo County Health Agency’s Tobacco Control Program in coordination with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office conducted a recent countywide tobacco sales compliance check operation which ended on November 7, 2012. The enforcement activity utilized underage decoys to regulate illegal sales of tobacco products to minors and resulted in a 11.54% illegal sales rate in the unincorporated area of the county. The sales rate resulted in a 45% improvement over results ending in July where 21.15% of businesses (eleven total) sold illegally to the decoy. These compliance checks focused on unincorporated communities including but not limited to San Miguel, Santa Margarita, Cambria, Cayucos, Los Osos, Avila Beach, Oceano and Nipomo. The incorporated cities within the county did not participate in these sting operations. With the assistance of four local teen (under age 18) decoys, fifty-two tobacco retailer locations were visited throughout the county. Six clerks of the fifty-two stores sold tobacco to the decoy. Of the six clerks cited for unlawful sales of tobacco products to a minor, two did not ask the minor for identification prior to completing the sale. Under Penal Code § 308(a), it is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18. During the compliance check enforcement operations, the six stores that engaged in the illegal sale of tobacco to a minor were: 1. Cayucos Liquor (75 South Ocean Avenue, Cayucos); 2. Oceano Market & Gas (1711 Front Street, Oceano); 3. Mission Market & Deli (1402 Mission Street, San Miguel); 4. San Paso Truck Stop (81 Wellsona Road, Paso Robles); 5. Singh Chevron (701 Las Tablas Road, Templeton); 6. Stop-N-Buy (459 West Tefft Street, Nipomo). None of the businesses listed were reoffenders. The San Luis Obispo County Health Agency's Tobacco Control Program offers an educational program to retailers that includes how to refuse a sale, methods to identify an underage buyer and instruction on properly reading an identification card or driver’s license. Members of the public or media with questions regarding the sale of tobacco products to minors are encouraged to call the Tobacco Control Program at (805) 781-5564.

Prepared By: aperry
Released: Wednesday 11/14/2012 4:30 PM