High rate of vapor products sold to minors, compliance checks show

LINCOLN, Neb. -- City and County law enforcement and health officials reported Thursday illegal sales of vapor products to minors in 2017 surpassed the rate of illegal sales of tobacco products to minors.

Seven of the 33 attempts by minors to purchase vapor products during compliance checks were violations, a 21-percent non-compliance rate for the year.

Only 16 of 269 attempts to purchase tobacco products were violations, a six-percent non-compliance rate.

“While we are pleased with the reduction of tobacco sales to minors, we are concerned about the level of vapor products being sold illegally to minors,” said Captain Joy Citta of the Lincoln Police Department.

“It’s great to see a decrease in tobacco sales to minors, however vapor product retailers need to do a better job not selling these products to anyone under the age of 18,” said Sgt. Mike Peschong of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

Local law enforcement officials began conducting vapor product compliance checks in addition to tobacco compliance checks in 2017. The compliance checks use youth volunteers in a cooperative effort conducted by LPD, LSO and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.

One location, Generation V at 5540 South Street, had more than one sale of tobacco or vapor product to a minor during 2017.

The following locations had one sale of tobacco or vapor product to a minor last year:

· All in One Smoke Shop, 1309 “O” Street
· Casey’s General Store, 1200 N. 10th Street; 110 N.W, 20th Street; and 4131 Old Woodlawn Rd.
· Git ‘N Split, 5560 S. 48th Street
· GNS Vapor, 4230 S. 33rd Street
· Kwik Shop, 4750 Calvert Street
· Lincoln Vapor North, 3710 N. 27th Street
· Natural Vapor, 6891 “A” Street
· Northstar Express, 5700 N. 33rd Street
· Sadie’s General Store, 305 Nemaha Street, Firth
· Schmick’s Market, 1340 W. “O” Street
· Shell Food Mart, 6006 Havelock Ave. and 1107 Belmont Ave.
· Sinclair, 2510 S. 48th Street
· Spot’s Spirits and Discount Tobacco, 13581 Guildford, Waverly
· TNT Vapors, 1736 South Street
· U-Stop Convenience Shop, 2925 N.W. 12th Street and 2140 “K” Street
· Walgreens, 1701 South Street
· Wicked Smoke, 1603 W. “O” Street