Estherville, Iowa Police Dept. pledges to keep tobacco away from minors
ESTHERVILLE, Iowa (KTIV) - The Estherville Police Department has taken a pledge to keep tobacco products out of the hands of minors.
It's called the "Iowa Pledge" and it's helped increase statewide tobacco compliance 93 percent since it began in 2000.
They are encouraging clerks to take the I-Pledge training.
"The I-Pledge Retailer Training Program is a great way for the clerks to prepare themselves to refuse illegal tobacco sales," Chief Miburn said. "The training will help retailers maintain a complaint and responsible establishment."
Estherville Police will be conducting compliance checks on local establishments.
Underage customers under the supervision of law enforcement officers will enter establishments and attempt to buy tobacco products.
Clerks who make the illegal sale will be cited on the spot.
Criminal penalties for selling tobacco to a minor include a $100 fine for the first offense, a $250 fine for the second offense and a $500 fine for third and subsequent offenses.
Handing out citations, however, is not the intent of the Iowa Pledge Program.
"By partnering with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, we hope to educate clerks and maintain a compliant retail environment in our community," Chief Eric Milburn said. "Moreover, we pledge to help keep tobacco out of the hands of Iowa's youth."
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