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Students and Police Test Cigarette Sales to Minors

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DURHAM — Some Durham high school students startedthe week on a mission. They've teamed up with local authorities totest new laws that prohibit retailers from selling tobacco products tominors. The students set out to see how easy it would be for them to buycigarettes.

When the day was done,only two of 19 visited stores sold smokes to the minors.

Clerk Barbara Woods says she has no trouble enforcing the law.

All of the stores visited Monday morning had received special kits lastmonth which spelled out the meaning of the law and contained appropriatesigns and instructions. Most clerks, who could be fined for selling tominors, said they were being very careful.

Student Emily Brubaker said every clerk she tried to buy cigarettesfrom asked for her i.d.

Police said they were encouraged by the results of their sting so far.They say the results show that the message about the new law is gettingout.

D.A.R.E. Officer Beth Johnson says cigarettes can be a first step intodrug use and that this law will help if it is enforced.

Students and police plan to visit every store in Durham by the end ofthe summer.

Photographer:Joe Frieda

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