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3 Evanston businesses cited for tobacco compliance violations

Tobacco product compliance checks by Evanston police led to three stores, including a Jewel Food Store, to be cited for selling tobacco products to underage patrons, police said.

On May 26 Evanston police conducted tobacco product compliance checks at 32 Evanston businesses to determine if local tobacco product retailers are complying with the minimum-age tobacco laws that prohibit the sale of tobacco products to persons under the age of 21, police said in a May 30 releases. It said a Jewel Food Store at the 1100 block of Chicago Avenue, a J & S Food Mart at the 700 block of Howard Street and an Exxon Road Pantry at the 2400 block of Dempster Street were all issued citations for selling “tobacco/alternative nicotine product” to a person under the age of 21.

According to the city code, any business that sells “tobacco/alternative nicotine product” to a person under the age of 21 “shall be fined not less than two hundred dollars ($200.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each offense , and a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.”

It also says that in addition to any other penalty, “a licensee convicted of violating any provision of this Section may be subject to having his/her license revoked, suspended or not renewed by the Health Director.”

Police said that with help from a grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services Tobacco Enforcement Program, they educate tobacco product retailers on minimum-age tobacco product laws and the “importance of verifying the age of customers before selling age-restrictive products such as tobacco products.” Tobacco product retailers are also given a retailer education packet and notified that the compliance checks are going to “occur in the near future.”

Brian L. Cox is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.

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