Local tobacco control officers announced that they're pleased with the results from a Nov. 30 Grover Beach tobacco sting, in which employees at three out of 14 stores were caught selling tobacco to a minor. The officers are happy, they report, because during their last sting, 50 percent of Grover Beach clerks tested sold cigarettes to underage buyers.
SLO County's Director of Tobacco Control, Susan Hughes, credits the falling rates to a new city ordinance that includes a 30-day tobacco sales suspension to businesses busted for selling to minors. Under penal code 308, clerks cited for selling to minors face fines of $200 to $1,000.
"Rather than just punish the clerks, we wanted to punish the owners," Hughes added. "We have seen rates drop dramatically in SLO County with city ordinances. It is working, which is really cool."
According to Grover Beach police, Discount Cigarettes, Smokes 4 Less, and Unocal 76 Station all located on Grand Avenue sold tobacco to a minor.