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FREDERICK, MD – The Frederick County Health Department and its law enforcement agency partners are committed to promoting health and wellness and preventing disease and illness among youth. Two programs, the Tobacco Sales Compliance Initiative and the Maryland Strategic Prevention Framework - Alcohol Merchant Compliance Strategy, aim to reduce minors’ access to tobacco and alcohol products by conducting random merchant compliance checks. Funding for these activities is provided by the Maryland Department of Health.
Use of tobacco and alcohol by minors can have serious effects on their physical health and brain development. Reducing retail access of tobacco and alcohol products to minors is one way to ensure that youth are less likely to use and become dependent on tobacco and alcohol. In 2016, the U.S Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) stated nearly 90% of current smokers began smoking before the age of 18. In addition, according to the National Institute on
Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), individuals who start drinking before the age of 15 are 4 times more likely to meet the criteria for alcohol dependence later on in life than those who begin drinking at the legal age of 21.
Underage volunteers assist in the execution of both tobacco and alcohol compliance checks. All volunteers possess their valid state-issued ID or driver’s license, which is provided to every merchant who asks for identification. If the underage volunteer is asked their age by the merchant, they are required to reply truthfully. All underage volunteers are accompanied and observed by a plainclothes officer.
Between July and September of 2018, the Frederick County Health Department’s Tobacco Sales Compliance Officer conducted 16 compliance checks of tobacco merchants within Frederick County. All tobacco merchants were found in compliance, with no sales to minors violations. There were no alcohol compliance checks conducted during this time period.
The Frederick County Health Department would like to recognize the following tobacco merchants for their compliance with state laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to minors:
3 Star Liquors: 305 W. 7th Street
Amber Meadow Liquors: 183 Thomas Johnson Drive
Beckley’s Country Store: 7611 Willow Road
DJ Liquors: 1313 W. Patrick Street
Dollar General: 902 N. East Street
Frederick Food Mart: 430 E. Patrick Street
Giant, Gas Kiosk Store 335: 1710 Kingfisher Drive
Highway Liquors: 6915 Baltimore National Pike
Lakefront Fine Wine & Spirits: 2401 Whittier Drive
Lucky’s Liquors: 100 S. Jefferson Street
Old Farm Liquors: 2190 Old Farm Drive
Riverside Liquors: 1299 Riverbend Way
Urban Vape: 343 N. Market Street
Vape Addictions: 4 S. McCain Drive
Walgreens: 1595 Opossumtown Pike
Wawa: 1001 W. Patrick Street
For more information regarding the merchant compliance initiatives, contact the Frederick County Health Department at 301-600-1755.