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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tobacco Sales to California Minors

The results of the California Department of Public Health's annual cigarettes online sting are in, and this year fewer stores sold discount cigarette online to minors than last year. Only about six percent of stores surveyed did so in 2011, down two percent from 2010. It was the lowest rate ever in the 15-year survey.

To collect the data, the health department sent a team of youth decoys to buy cigarettes store from more than 700 stores statewide, according to the state's Tobacco Control Program.

The health department found that some types of stores are more likely to sell cigarettes to teens. In the sting, about 12 percent of deli and meat markets broke the law, while just 1 percent of liquor stores did.

Retailers who sell cheap cigarettes products to kids are subject to fines ranging from $200 to $600.

While it may be getting harder for teens to buy cigarettes, smoking cigarettes is also down among adults in the state. California ranks second in the nation behind Utah for the lowest number of adult online cigarettes users, with only about 12 percent of the population lighting up.

Despite this significant decrease over the last 25 years, Calfornia still has more smokers than any other state, because of the its large population. Approximately 3.6 million Californians smoke, and about 200,000 of those are young people.

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