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FREDERICK, MD – To protect public health and promote health and wellness among our youth, the Frederick County Health Department’s Tobacco Sales Compliance Program conducts compliance checks of tobacco merchants in Frederick County. The initiative aims to reduce minors’ retail access to tobacco products by conducting random merchant compliance checks. Funding for these activities is provided by the Maryland Department of Health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Office on Smoking and Health, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. Every day, about 2,000 young people under age 18 smoke their first cigarette, and more than 300 become daily cigarette smokers. As of 2017, about 34 million US adults smoke cigarettes. Over 16 million people live with at least one disease caused by smoking, and 58 million nonsmoking Americans are exposed to secondhand smoke.
Between April and June 2019, the Frederick County Health Department’s Tobacco Sales Compliance Program conducted 61 tobacco sales compliance inspections. Of the 61 checks completed, 58 businesses passed and 3 businesses were issued civil citations for non-compliance with state law. Click here for the complete report.
In Frederick County, underage volunteers assist in the execution of both alcohol and tobacco merchant compliance checks. All underage 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 or health officer designee.
For more information about the Frederick County Health Department, Tobacco Sales Compliance Program, contact the Frederick County Health Department at 301-600-1755 or visit health.frederickcountymd.gov/merchants.