A report by 12 state attorneys general recommends that retailers improve their compliance with the law that bars tobacco sales to minors.
The report was endorsed by attorneys general of an additional 14 states and territories, including Utah."Either we get serious about tobacco sales to minors, or we will lose another generation of kids to tobacco-related deaths," Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore said in a statement. "Most tobacco use begins at a young age, so cracking down on illegal sales to minors is our best hope to break the cycle of addiction."
Moore said the report found that 500 million packs of cigarettes and 26 million containers of chewing tobacco were sold to minors in violation of federal law mandating that states improve law preventing such sales.
Among the recommendations were that retailers and wholesalers train workers to avoid sales to minors, keep tobacco products out of reach or locked up, remove cigarette vending machines from stores, require proof of age and photo identification, and remove tobacco advertising.
The report also recommends that states create a licensing system for tobacco sales, provide penalties for violators with suspension of license to sale for repeat offenders, redesign drivers' licenses so dates of birth are more readable, and allow cities and counties to enforce more strict tobacco sale ordinances.