Police in Southington have launched an enforcement operation against underage tobacco sales

According to local media, Patch.com reported on Dec 17, that some cigarette/electronic cigarette retail stores in Southington, Connecticut, were investigated by local police for selling cigarettes/electronic cigarettes to minors during law enforcement inspections on Dec 11.

As reported Friday by the city’s STEPS organization (for drug and substance use prevention organizations that work with local schools and police), the retail outlets reported include CigarandVape, Sunoco, and VapeandTobaccoWorld.

The enforcement action was initiated by the Southington Police Department and the State Department of Mental Health Addiction Services’ Tobacco Enforcement Program (TPEP). STEPS said there was no prior notice of the operation and that four retailers were reviewed for legal compliance.

The retail clerk under investigation was fined $300 for selling or selling vapes to anyone under 21. Police said the law states that anyone who appears to be under the age of 30 should be required to show identification when purchasing cigarette/e-cigarette brands.

STEPS mentioned that e-cigarettes in particular are a worsening problem in the region. The organization on Friday revealed some startling statistics about the use of local e-cigarettes. Among them: was a 33 percent increase in students’ use of vapes between 2020 and 2022; The 2022 data showed that 12 percent of students had smoked in the past 30 days, while that number was only 9 percent in 2020.

“Denying youth access to cigarette and e-cigarette brands is an important way to discourage their use, so we would like to thank those shops and shop assistants who comply with national laws and regulations,” STEPS wrote in a news release…