Four Columbia County stores found selling cigarettes to minors
Natasha Vaughn-Holdridge is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Columbia County Department of Health announced January 28, during the course of a three-month investigation, four tobacco retailers in the county had been found to be selling tobacco products to underage people, in violation of the state’s law. The four locations exposed during the investigation include Charron’s Market in Chatham, Love’s Travel Stop in Canaan, Xtra Mart in Livingston and the Elizaville Diner and Deli in Elizaville. Two of the violations occurred in September, the other two in November. “We were a little surprised we were getting people,” Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said. “I think a lot of it had to do with places got a little lax in that we weren’t going out at one point because of COVID and then we started again. So it’s a little surprising, but it does happen.” Under state law, cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 21. New York raised the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21-years old in 2019. Public health departments are required to check compliance by tobacco retailers. Adolescents are enlisted to act as customers asking to buy cigarettes and they are trained by the Department of Health, Mabb said. The fine for the first offense of selling to a minor is $350, a second offense is $500 and the fine for a third violation is $1,000. If a business makes two sales to underage people within three years they lose their license to sell lottery tickets for six months, Mabb said. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.