ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Southside Convenience Store in Elmira was fined $1,600 for selling a single cigarette to an individual under the age of 21, according to the Chemung County Health Department.
New York State law prohibits the sale of tobacco products, herbal cigarettes, liquid nicotine, shisha or electronic cigarettes to persons under the age of 21. It is also a violation of State law to sell tobacco that is not in a package bearing all required health warnings, or in the case of cigarettes, in a container containing fewer than 20 cigarettes.
According to the Health Department, the owner of Southside Convenience Store accepted the Stipulation Offer that included a lesser penalty than could have been imposed and paid the associated penalty that was part of the Stipulation Offer.
A “point” system for “sale” violations at retail establishments was created in 2002. Typically two points are assigned for a “sale” violation. Southside Convenience Store was assessed two points. The accumulation of 3 or more points will lead to the suspension of their tobacco registration and lottery license by New York State for a period of 6 months. Three points are removed at the conclusion of a license suspension. Additional compliance checks will occur at this facility as a result of this sale.
According to Jonathan Keough, Director of Environmental Health for the Chemung County Health Department, compliance checks are conducted at least annually at every tobacco retailer in Chemung County as well as in response to complaints received by the Department. Facilities with points on their record will experience 3 unannounced compliance checks per year.
Anyone with questions about the tobacco and vapor product sale laws can contact the Chemung County Health Department at 737-2019 or visit their website at www.chemungcountyhealth.org.