One in four Arundel shops sold tobacco to minors during sting

The Anne Arundel County Department of Health and local law enforcement officials caught nearly one in four retailers selling tobacco products to minors during a recent sting operation.

The officials visited nearly 260 merchants from Jan. 1 to June 30, and 60 stores sold the products illegally to youths under age 18.

The county has been working with the Maryland Department of Health, which gave the county a $100,000 grant to help reduce youth access to tobacco. Part of the effort involves educating merchants about avoiding sales to minors.

A new Maryland law that goes into effect Sunday will allow law enforcement officials to issue civil citations instead of criminal ones to retailers caught selling tobacco products or e-cigarettes to minors. Store owners and employees issued citations can be fined.

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