Cracking Down on Selling Tobacco to Minors

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Selling tobacco to minors is illegal. The Lincoln Police Department and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department both do whatever they can to stop it.

That includes retail tobacco compliance checks. According to the Health Department, when the checks first started, 53-percent of businesses were selling tobacco to minors.

Since then, that number has dropped significantly. So far this year, it’s at eight-percent.

Charlotte Burke with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department says, "I think the program is effective as a piece of a bigger program to keep youth from starting to use tobacco. If retailers won't sell tobacco to minors that lessens their access to it."

If a person sells tobacco to a minor he or she could be ticketed up to $500, spend three months in jail, or both.