KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON - Starting in 2003, Public Health — Seattle & King County's Tobacco Prevention Program will be launching a retailer education campaign with hundreds of one-on-one educational visits to retailers and new clerk training classes. In addition, Public Health will continue its monitoring of retailers with over 2,000 unannounced tobacco retailer compliance checks.
"Retailers have done a stellar job at reducing the sale of tobacco to minors in recent years, and with increased educational efforts we look forward to continuing to improve compliance rates," said Dr. Alonzo Plough, Director of Public Health — Seattle & King County. Public Health's Tobacco Prevention Program began checking tobacco retailer compliance in 1989 and found that only 34% of the merchants checked refused tobacco to underage minors. Today that rate is 93% and has been at or above 90% since 1997.
Throughout 2002, 2,230 King County tobacco retailers were checked. People witnessing a merchant or other adults providing tobacco to minors are encouraged to call their local Liquor Control Board to file a confidential complaint.
As part of the new educational campaign to retailers, both educational visits and clerk training classes will be supplemented with the new statewide tobacco retailer education materials distributed by the Washington State Department of Health. The comprehensive retailer packet includes various posters, brochures, signs, and contact information to aid retailers in training their employees.
If you have any questions, or would like more information about tobacco prevention, please visit Public Health's Tobacco Prevention website at www.kingcounty.gov/health/tobacco
Providing effective and innovative health and disease prevention services for over 1.8 million residents and visitors of King County, Public Health — Seattle & King County works for safer and healthier communities for everyone, every day.