Local tobacco retailer found in violation of state law

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Southside Convenience Store was given a sixteen hundred dollar fine for selling a single cigarette to an individual under the age of 21.

The FDA changed the legal tobacco purchasing law in December of 2019 from 18 to 21.

“In order for the whole process to play out, there’s a formal enforcement action that has to be taken,” said Johnathan Keough, Director of Environmental Health of the Chemung County Health Department.

Keough says the health department recruit minors from schools and local organizations for a program to prevent the use of tobacco and vapor related products.

“We send in typically a minor –just go in and try to make a purchase of any product,” said Keough.

A point system for sale violations at retail establishments was created back in 2002. Any store with three or more points could lead to the suspension of their tobacco registration and lottery license by New York State for 6 months.

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