AREA TOBACCO VENDORS TO BE RECOGNIZED FOR BLOCKING SALES TO KIDS

AREA TOBACCO VENDORS TO BE RECOGNIZED FOR BLOCKING SALES TO KIDS

Certificates of appreciation from the South Central New Mexico Prevention Coalition will be hand-delivered May 21 to 19 Doña Ana County tobacco vendors who refused to sell tobacco to minors during an April 19 compliance check.

SCNMPC Coordinator Amy Buchanan said the compliance check involved having minors attempt to buy tobacco products without being dishonest about their age if asked by a store clerk. Of 20 stores checked, only one failed to follow state law by checking the minor’s identification and refusing to sell a tobacco product.

Buchanan called the resulting 95 percent compliance rate “a terrific reflection on the willingness of Doña Ana County tobacco vendors to follow state law and contribute to public health.”

Vendor compliance, Buchanan said, is important at a number of levels for a number of parties.

“Vendors who sell to minors face substantial fines, as do juveniles who attempt to buy tobacco products,” Buchanan said. “Those of us who work in the public health sector also have a stake in a high compliance rate, however. New Mexico currently receives about $8 million in federal funding for substance abuse prevention and treatment. That amount could be cut almost in half if compliance with state law falls below a pre-determined level.”

Buchanan said the following vendors will be presented with certificates of compliance tomorrow: Eagle Quik Mart Fina Station on Solano Drive; Sav-O-Matic, Inc. on El Paseo; Pyramid Food Store on East Lohman Avenue; Bar-F Diamond Shamrock (East Lohman and South Valley Drive locations); Dandy's Shell on Lohman Avenue; Pilot Oil Corporation on Amador Avenue; Travel Centers of America on Motel Boulevard; Pic Quick Stores, Inc. (Missouri Avenue, West Picacho Street, North Valley Drive and Doña Ana and Hatch village locations); Rainbow Foods Store on Lohman Avenue; Save Mart on Valley Drive; Albertson's on North Main Street; K-Mart on El Paseo; Wal-Mart on Walton Avenue; and the One Stop Convenience Store on Valley Drive.

Buchanan said the only business that was not in compliance was the Love’s Country Store on Interstate 10 West. She said management of that store will be contacted for a follow-up visit on the importance of employee training related to compliance with state law.

For more information or to coordinate a photograph or video footage of certificate presentations, call Buchanan at (505) 524-8971. Residents calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request a connection to the SCNMPC’s main number.