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ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO MERCHANT COMPLIANCE CHECK UPDATE
FREDERICK, MD – The Frederick County Health Department is committed to promoting health and wellness and preventing disease and illness among youth. The Alcohol Merchant Compliance Strategy and the Tobacco Sales Compliance Initiative aim to reduce minors’ access to alcohol and tobacco products by conducting random merchant compliance checks. Funding for these activities is provided by the Maryland Department of Health.
Tobacco and alcohol use by minors can harm their physical health and impair healthy 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.
Locally, underage volunteers assist in the execution of both alcohol and tobacco 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 January and March of 2019, alcohol merchant compliance checks were conducted within Frederick County. Of the 72 alcohol businesses checked, 12 businesses sold alcohol to the underage volunteer.
The Frederick County Health Department would like to recognize the following alcohol merchants for their compliance with state laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol to minors:
The following establishment did not comply with the law and the violation was referred to the Frederick County Liquor Board:
During the same time period, tobacco merchants were also checked for compliance. Of the 18 tobacco merchants checked, 1 merchant was found to be in non-compliance for selling a tobacco product to a minor.
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:
The following establishment did not comply with the law and was issued a civil citation for the sale of a tobacco product to a minor:
For more information regarding the alcohol and tobacco merchant compliance initiatives, contact Todd Crum, Prevention Program Manager, at TCrum1@FrederickCountyMD.gov or 301-600-1755.