Name the names |

Name the names

Now comes the news the Summit Prevention Alliance (SPA) is disappointed that 25 percent of 44 stores visited in a tobacco compliance check sold tobacco to minors. Several months ago, the news was about as dismal for an alcohol compliance check.

SPA community prevention coordinator Bev Gmerek said five store clerks looked directly at identification cards and still sold tobacco. Tobacco prevention coordinator Laurie Best said some clerks can’t seem to do the math, while others are returning favors for when the were sold tobacco as underage youths.

Despite the SPA’s dismay over tobacco and alcohol reaching youths illegally, it still will not release the names of offenders who are ticketed and where they work. Instead, it prefers to take the nice-guy approach of not embarrassing the merchants. We think its time for a new approach. Release names.

Still, times are better. When SPA started tobacco compliance checks several years ago, the failure rate was about half those tested.

Clerks who are ticketed for selling to minors get a $200 citation. While that hurts the individual, without naming the stores themselves, store owners are not feeling the heat.

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