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Chemung County Tobacco Retailers Found Violating Law

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Chemung County Health Department reports that a local tobacco vendor sold tobacco to a minor during a routine compliance check. New York State law prohibits the sale of tobacco to anyone less than 18 years old. It further requires tobacco vendors to require photographic proof of age for any individual attempting to purchase tobacco that appears to be less than 25 years old.

Listed below is a summary of the most recent violation:

-Weis Markets, 401 N. Main Street, Elmira – 2/23/09 - $550 Fine

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Weis Markets accepted a Stipulation Offer that included a lesser penalty than could have been imposed and the respondent has since paid the associated penalties. New York State Law requires that the names of violators be published in the local newspaper when the cases have been finalized.

A “point” system for “sale” violations at retail establishments was created in 2002. Typically 2 points are assigned for a “sale” violation. However, if the clerk making the sale has proof of attendance at a State-approved training program, only 1 point will be assessed. This facility was assessed two points for this sale violation.

Weis Markets had no points on their record prior to this recent sale. The accumulation of 3 or more points will lead to the suspension of their tobacco registration and lottery license by New York State for a period of 6 months. Three points are removed at the conclusion of a license suspension. Additional compliance checks will occur at this facility as a result of this sale.

According to Thomas G. Kump, Director of Environmental Health for the Chemung County Health Department, compliance checks are conducted at least annually at every tobacco retailer in Chemung County. Facilities with points on their record will experience 3 unannounced compliance checks per year.

If a sale is made during these compliance checks, facilities can expect the full enforcement of the law.