Nineteen East Texas Retailers Cited for Selling Tobacco to Minors
Pop quiz - What's the minimum age that someone can buy tobacco products?
If you said 21, you get a gold star. On December 20, 2019, legislation went into effect raising the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years. This includes cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes.
The FDA (Federal Drug Administration) conducts numerous (over 1 million since the change) compliance checks at tobacco retailers across the nation. In Deep East Texas, the Coalition, Inc. will conduct 'minor sting' operations to make sure local businesses are not selling tobacco products to underage customers.
From December through February, the Coalition partnered with the Polk County Sheriff’s Department and the Angelina County Sheriff's Department to carry out a number of these sting operations.
In Polk County, 54 attempts were made to purchase tobacco products by a minor. Out of those attempts, 12 citations were issued to the following businesses that sold tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to minors.
The businesses that sold tobacco products to minors include:
⦁ Right Stop on 11256 US Hwy 190 E in Livingston;
⦁ 146 Travel Center on 5060 Hwy 146 S in Livingston;
⦁ Super Stop Food Mart on 111 Pan American Dr;
⦁ Veterans Mart on 1809 N Washington in Livingston;
⦁ Brookshire Brothers #21 1253 W Church St in Livingston;
⦁ Livingston Food Mart on 1600 W Church St in Livingston;
⦁ Smokers Paradise N Novelties on 2108 US Hwy 190 W in Livingston;
⦁ Stripes Store 41012 H on 2301 US Hwy 1990 W in Livingston;
⦁ T-Jaks on 158 FM 1276 in Livingston;
⦁ Best Stop #6 on 1155 E Church St in Livingston;
⦁ Star Korner 1 on 602 Pan American in Livingston;
⦁ Z Food Mart 2400 N Washington Ave in Livingston.
In Angelina County, 80 attempts to purchase were made resulting in only 7 citations being issued to the following businesses:
⦁ Just Smoke Vape and Smoke Center on 210 N Temple Dr, Ste A in Diboll;
⦁ Just Stop on 605 N Temple Dr in Diboll;
⦁ Dollar General Store #995 on 1707 Deans Way in Lufkin;
⦁ Big’s 3811 on 2701 N Raguet Ave in Lufkin;
⦁ New Discount Store on 501 S Timberland Dr, Ste A in Lufkin;
⦁ Brookshire Brothers #1 on 301 S Chestnut St in Lufkin;
⦁ Dollar General Store #9776 on 2606 US Highway 69 N in Lufkin.
The Coalition, Inc. commends those businesses that did not sell tobacco products to minors in our community. The Coalition can be reached at (936) 634-9308 or by way of their website.
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