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Inspections Show Business Compliance with Tobacco ID Laws

Businesses selling tobacco in Bernalillo County received high marks for compliance with identification laws during the 2016 inspection season.

Of 49 compliance visits conducted this spring, 47 businesses were found to be in compliance, and followed mandated ID checks when selling tobacco to customers. Trainings were initially conducted by the county last fall to provide merchants with compliance education and guidance, in order to pass inspection. Tobacco merchants who were found not in compliance this spring will be receiving additional training from Bernalillo County.

 Inspection visits are conducted by minors, with parental consent, who pass a specialized training conducted by local officials. These youth then visit tobacco merchants, and test to see if they will sell them tobacco products without checking their IDs. If the businesses do not check for age, county officials inform them of their failed inspection.

The process of education and inspection is conducted annually by the Bernalillo County Office of Health and Social Services, in conjunction with the University of New Mexico Campus Office of Substance Abuse and Prevention. Funding for the visits is provided by the state Behavioral Health Services Division’s Office of Substance Abuse Prevention. The trainings held each fall help to enforce tobacco age laws by making businesses aware of ID requirements, and the inspections each spring ensure that requirements have been implemented.

Studies done in the county in 2013 showed that approximately half of Bernalillo County high school students had tried tobacco products. The continued use of these inspections works to keep tobacco out of the hands of underage youth, and to decrease this statistic.

 

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