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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, July 18, 2008
Jamilia Sherls, Tobacco Prevention & Control Coordinator, 360-786-5581 ext. 16966
Sherri McDonald, Public Health Director, 360-786-5201

Thurston County Public Health Cracks Down on Tobacco Retailers

OLYMPIA -- Thurston County Public Health & Social Services recently conducted youth compliance checks at 80 tobacco retailers around Thurston County . Out of the 80 retailers, an alarming 15 (19%) were found to be in violation of the Youth Access Law.

In 1993, the Washington State Legislature passed the Youth Access Law to reduce the illegal sale of tobacco to Washington youth. The Youth Access Law requires that tobacco products not be sold to anyone under the age of 18. Thurston County and other counties around the state conduct compliance checks on tobacco retailers to enforce this law and decrease youth access to tobacco, thus decreasing the potential for youth starting down the road to tobacco addiction.

Congratulations to the following tobacco retailers in Thurston County who were found compliant with the Youth Access Law:

7-Eleven Store #2303-25983C
Albertson's #415
Apex III Grocery & Deli
Arbor Center Chevron
Arco AM/PM Mini Market
Bailey's IGA
Black Lake Grocery
Capital City Shell
Capital Smoke
Capitol Lake Grocery
Capitol Market & Asian Deli
Capitol Mart
Cedar Inn
Chambers Prairie
Chevron USA #1126
Cigarettes #1
Circle K/76 #2705082
Circle K/76 #2705497
Clearwood Market & Deli
Columbia Petroleum & Convenience
Cooper Point Village Mart
Cooper Pt. Chevron
Dave's Market Place
Day & Night Grocery 2
Fourth Ave Food Mart
Grand Mound AM/PM Mini Market
Lacey Food Mart
Lacey Fuel
Lacey Smoke Shop
Lam NP Grocery
Liberty Market
Log Cabin Bar & Grill
Lucky Seven Food Store
McMenamins Spar Café & Bar
Nisqually Automotive & Towing
Nisqually Bar and Grill
Nisqually Rez Mart
Nisqually Valley Grocery
Olympia Chevron
Picasso Brothers, Inc.
Pilot Travel Center #151
Pit Stop Grocery
QFC #126Rite Aid #5281
Safeway Fuel Station #1952
Safeway Store #1619
Safeway Store #1977
Sami's Shell
Scott Lake Grocery
Summit Lake Grocery
Tabacco Express
Tenino Corner Grocery
The 4th Ave Alehouse & Eatery
Thompson Place Market
Top Food & Drug #29
Tumwater Shell
Union Mills Grocery
Villa Grove
Walgreens #05571
Walmart Super Center #3705

The following tobacco retailers in Thurston County were found to be in violation of the Youth Access Law:

Arco AM/PM
Black Lake Shell
Don's EZ Mart
Frankie's Sports Bar Grill & Lounge
Grabajava Espresso
King Solomon's Reef
Mega Foods
O'Blarney's Pub
Puget Pantry
Rainier Market
Restover Food Mart
Road Runner Gas & Grocery
Safeway Store # 1952
Safeway Store #1503
Walmart Super Center #3531

Both tobacco retail clerks and shop owners are fined by the Washington State Liquor Control Board when they are non-compliant with the Youth Access Law. In addition, the store's tobacco license may be suspended if they continue to violate the law. Being informed of the law and the correct ways to comply are the keys for retailers in order to avoid penalties. "All too often I had clerks tell me that they did not know the correct way to check ID. Or I encountered clerks who simply did not ask to see ID when my youth volunteer asked for a pack of cigarettes," says Jamilia Sherls, Tobacco Prevention and Control Coordinator at Thurston County Public Health & Social Services.

"Leadership in tobacco retail establishments needs to make sure their staff always asks for ID for anyone who looks under the age of 35 and make sure that their staff is trained on how to properly check ID." says Sherls. According to Dr. Diana Yu, Thurston County Health Officer, "In our efforts to decrease youth tobacco use, limiting easy access to tobacco products is one of the strategies.  Using tobacco products adds negative impacts to a person's health.  The bottom line is we want a healthier future for our youth."

If you work for a tobacco retailer and would like more information on the Youth Access Law or how to correctly check ID, please contact Jamilia Sherls at 360-786-5581, ext. 1-6966# or the Washington State Liquor Control Board.  

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3