NEVADA – It is one of the most serious public health issues. Despite legislation restricting the sale of tobacco products to children, the usage of these items by minors continues to rise.
To address this issue, a new state statute was enacted.
The consequences for public health have long been obvious. The majority of adult smokers began before the age of 18, with a startling number even younger. Tobacco product sales to minors are prohibited. Despite this, more than 17% of Nevada high school students admit to smoking.
“And we’re also seeing youngsters who start before age 13,” says Sarah Motts, Tobacco Prevention Coordinator for the state Division of Public and Behavioral Health.
In fact, more than 38% believe it would be fairly to extremely easy to obtain cigarettes if they desired them. When it comes to electronic vaping goods, the figures are considerably worse. Almost half of Nevada high school students believe they can get them.
Current regulations, compliance inspections, and educational efforts are clearly insufficient. As a result, the previous legislation made things a little more difficult for young customers and careless retailers.
The rule now mandates retailers to employ electronic scanners and software to verify the age and identification of buyers under the age of 40.
“So this is just an additional safeguard to guarantee that we are reducing access for children and young people,” Motts explains.
Most tobacco businesses already have scanning equipment, and the current law prohibits underage sales. If you are a kid or a young adult purchasing, you will be asked for your ID, which will be scanned.
The new rule increases the fine to $100 for the first offense of failing to employ electronic verification of age and ID. And the compliance checks, which are effectively sting operations, will go on.
It should be noted that there is an incentive to make all of this work.
Federal subsidies for drug rehab and education are conditional on meeting compliance targets, which the state is in danger of failing to meet.
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