Two Killdeer businesses fail tobacco checksGrab ‘N Go convenience store and Jerry’s Super Valu in Killdeer both failed tobacco compliance checks when they sold tobacco to teens under the age of 18 last Thursday.
By: Ashley Martin, The Dickinson Press
Grab ‘N Go convenience store and Jerry’s Super Valu in Killdeer both failed tobacco compliance checks when they sold tobacco to teens under the age of 18 last Thursday.
The Southwest District Health Unit conducted the compliance checks in Dunn County, rural Stark County and Adams County last week. The two Killdeer businesses were the only businesses who failed the checks, said Bobbie Olson, tobacco prevention and control coordinator at Southwest District Health Unit.
There were 10 businesses checked in Stark County, and six in Adams County and none of them sold to minors. Four other businesses in Dunn County also passed the compliance checks.
Either a police officer or a trained adult accompanies the minors while they go to each business asking to buy tobacco products, Olson said.
“The youth are trained and they are paid a stipend for their time,” Olson said.
Olson said employees at Jerry’s Super Valu and Grab ‘N Go asked for identification from the minors, which showed they were underage and then sold them tobacco.
“They do need to start reading the licenses and not just asking for the ID,” Olson said.
Checks done in Dickinson in February yielded similar results. Six of the 19 businesses which were checked sold tobacco to minors. Five of those businesses asked for identification before selling to the minors.
Dickinson’s compliance numbers were down compared to last year, since only two businesses sold to minors in 2008.
However the results of the checks done last week show a significant improvement, Olson said.
Of the six businesses checked in Dunn County last year, she said four, including Grab ‘N Go, sold tobacco to minors.
In rural Stark County, two of the five businesses checked sold to minors in 2008. Three of the six businesses checked in Adams County last year sold to minors.
“Overall we were very pleased,” Olson said. “Of course it’s disappointing to have two but last year we had much more, so it was good to see the decrease.”
She said whether legal action will be taken against businesses who sell tobacco to minors differs by community.
“It’s different in every community,” Olson said. “We ask that the law enforcement work with those businesses to come under compliance and give them some tips on what they can do as far as not selling to minors.”
What, if any, action will be taken on the two Killdeer businesses that failed compliance checks has not been decided, according to the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department.
Olson said education about selling tobacco to minors as well as city ordinances may help improve compliance.
“In Dickinson they have an ordinance where you have to be 18 in order to sell tobacco, but it’s not like that in the communities,” Olson said, adding an ordinance may help lower the number of incompliant businesses.
Southwest District Health Unit does compliance checks on all eight southwestern counties, Olson said. She is unsure when the other five counties in the area will be checked.
Jerry Yantzer, owner of Jerry’s Super Valu and Grab ‘N Go, declined to comment about the incident.