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Minors’ success at buying tobacco in Utah County dips

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Fewer stores in Utah County are willing to sell tobacco products to underage customers than a year ago.

According to information released by those in charge of a recent "Tobacco Underage Buying Operation," the minors sent out at random to try and buy tobacco were successful only 21 percent of the time.In 1997, the successful purchase rate was 10 percent higher.

Ninety local businesses were found to be in compliance with the laws that prohibit the sale of tobacco to anyone younger than 19.

Those stores will receive certificates of recognition from the local police departments, the Utah County Sheriff's Office and the Utah County Health Department.

Others have improved and will be recognized in the future.

Pat Tucker, spokesman for the effort to reduce underage purchase, said 90 percent of those who use tobacco started before or by the age of 19.

Utah's laws and the local efforts are aimed at reducing and stopping the sale and use that results in youth addition, said Tucker.