4 fail tobacco compliance checksFour area businesses recently failed tobacco compliance checks, according to a report Southwestern District Health Unit released Thursday afternoon.
Four area businesses recently failed tobacco compliance checks, according to a report Southwestern District Health Unit released Thursday afternoon.
However, compliance numbers are up, said Bobbie Olson, tobacco prevention coordinator at SWDHU.
Dan’s Supermarket’s downtown location and T-Rex Conoco in Dickinson failed the checks, Olson said. Frontier Travel Center in Bowman and Kennedy’s Fresh Foods in Hettinger also failed the checks, she added.
The checks were done on 70 area businesses that sell tobacco, excluding liquor establishments, she said.
“They all carded and sold anyway,” Olson said. “It does say right on there the date that they turn 18, so there’s no math involved anymore.”
Last fall, 12 area businesses failed the checks.
“We did have much less, which we were very happy about,” Olson said.
Becky Brooks, manager at Travel Center in Bowman, said the business’s compliance failure was an oversight by an employee.
“The clerk did not read the driver’s license correctly,” Brooks said.
The employee, who is still employed at the business, was educated about how to read an identification card, she added.
SWDHU sends letters to businesses that fail the checks, but it is up to local state’s attorney’s offices to pursue charges, Olson said.
Tom Henning, Stark County state’s attorney, said he doesn’t file charges against noncompliant businesses.
“She normally writes them a warning letter and then we generally don’t see any offenses out of them again,” Henning said. “If somebody just ignored it, then I’d have a problem with it.”
He added it’s not necessarily the employer’s fault when the business fails the check.
The checks are done quarterly by having someone younger than 18 enter businesses and ask to buy tobacco products.
“They are not to lie or anything,” Olson said. “If they’re asked their age, they have to tell them their real age. If they’re asked for ID, they have to give them their real ID.”
She added they’re instructed to dress as if they would for school.
This quarter’s compliance checks began in June, Olson said.
Calls to the Bowman and Adams counties state’s attorneys were not returned Thursday.