Local News

Students and Police Test Cigarette Sales to Minors

Posted June 16, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Some Durham high school students started the week on a mission. They've teamed up with local authorities to test new laws that prohibit retailers from selling tobacco products to minors. The students set out to see how easy it would be for them to buy cigarettes.

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 last month which spelled out the meaning of the law and contained appropriate signs and instructions. Most clerks, who could be fined for selling to minors, said they were being very careful.

Student Emily Brubaker said every clerk she tried to buy cigarettes from 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 getting out.

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

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

Photographer:Joe Frieda