Over 200 RI Retailers Have Been Caught Selling Tobacco to Minors Since 2014

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

 

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More than 200 retailers in the state were cited for selling tobacco to minors by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since the start of 2014, with over 20 being hit with civil money penalties ranging from $500 -- to over $2000.  

SLIDES: See Which RI Retailers were Fined -- and How Much -- BELOW

"To protect the health of future generations, FDA closely monitors retailer, manufacturer, importer, and distributor compliance with Federal tobacco laws and regulations and takes corrective action when violations occur," writes the FDA on its website

While over two dozen stores were given monetary fines by the FDA since January 2014  -- 191 more were issued warning letters, with all but 3 cited for observed sales of tobacco to minors by the FDA's compliance inspections.  

According to the Center for Tobacco Free kids, 8% of Rhode Island high school students smoke, 700 kids under 18 in the state become new daily smokers each year, and one million packs of cigarettes are bought or smoked by RI kids each year. 

Rhode Island Efforts

Rhode Island has taken new steps recently to address tobacco use among minors.  

An e-cigarette sales ban to was signed into law in 2014.

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At the time, Senator Dominick Ruggerio said, "The Centers for Disease Control report that about 90 percent of all smokers begin as teenagers. We need to keep our youth from experimenting with or using any kind of tobacco products, and it’s counter-productive to that goal to allow them to use these nicotine delivery systems, no matter how glamorous the makers want them to appear.”

Prior to that, former Providence Mayor Angel Taveras oversaw an ordinance ushered through by then-City Council members to see Providence's parks go tobacco free starting in March 2015.

"With this ordinance, we continue the ongoing work to reduce youth tobacco use, reduce exposure to secondhand smoke for all Providence residents and visitors and further transform our city parks into neighborhood centers of wellness," said then-Mayor Angel Taveras. "Much credit goes to Council President Solomon and Majority Leader Yurdin for their leadership."

Stores that were cited by the FDA -- with warning letters, but not fines -- for sales to minors in Rhode Island since 2014 included Cumberland Farms, CVS (before they stopped selling cigarettes), Mobil stations, Shells stations, and Walgreens, among others.

The state of Rhode Island offers a guide to retailers as how not to sell tobacco to minors.

"How do you determine if a customer is over 18? In some stores the register will do the math for you. Scan the tobacco product, enter the customer’s birthday from their ID, and the computer will let you know if the person is old enough to buy tobacco.

Now, what if your store doesn’t have this modern technology? To quickly determine if the customer is old enough, use the “Drop 20, Add 2” formula. “How does the ‘Drop 20, Add 2’ formula work?” Drop 20 years from today’s date, then add 2 years. This is the cutoff date. Compare the cutoff date you calculated to the date of birth on the customer’s picture ID. You need to pay special attention to the month and day. If the customer’s date of birth is earlier than the cutoff date, you may sell that person tobacco products."

 

Related Slideshow: RI Stores Fined by FDA for Selling Tobacco to Minors Since 2014

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Money Penalty Pending

D B Mart

885 Post Road

Warwick

Decision Date: 7-1-2015
 

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Money Penalty Pending

Fast Freddies/ Sunoco

2003 Post Road

Warwick

Decision Date: 6-23-2015

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Money Penalty Pending

One Energy

2949 Tower Hill Road

Saunderstown

Decision Date: 7-14-2015

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Money Penalty Pending

Route 117 Sunoco

1710 West Shore Road

Warwick

Decision Date: 6-23-2015

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Money Penalty Pending

Sam's Food Stores

1 Humbert Street

North Providence

Decision Date: 7-20-2015

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Money Penalty Pending

Shell Coventry

642 Washington Street

Coventry

Decision Date: 6-17-2015

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$500

Bahra's Market

900 Charles Street

North Providence

Decision Date: 8-11-14

Read Fine HERE

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$500

Broadway Express Mart

306 Broadway

Providence

Decision Date: 10-28-14

Read Fine HERE

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$500

Brother's Market

600 Douglas Avenue

Providence

Decision Date: 5-4-2015

Read Fine HERE

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$500

City Liquors

1285 North Main Street

Providence

Decision Date: 11-17-2014

Read Fine HERE

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$500

Cumberland Farms 1256

2064 Smith Street 

North Providence 

Decision Date: 5-20-2015

Read Fine HERE

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$500

D B Mart/ Valero

885 Post Road 

Warwick

Decision Date: 1-5-2015

Read Fine HERE

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$500

Four Corners Food Mart 

327 Warren Avenue

East Providence 

Decision Date: 2-2-2015

Read Fine HERE

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$500

Exeter Wine & Spirits 

254 Nooseneck Hill Road 

Exeter 

Decision Date: 1-12-2015

Read Fine HERE

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$500

Khout

1051 Lonsdale Avenue 

Central Falls

Decision Date: 4-6-2015

Read Fine HERE

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$500

Kwik Stop 

74 Friendship Street 

Westerly

Decision Date: 10-1-2014

Read Fine HERE

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$500

One Energy

2949 Tower Hill Road

Saunderstown 

Decision Date: 12-8-2014

Read Fine HERE

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$500

Richmond News 

123 Mathewson Street

Providence 

Decision Date: 12-9-2014

Read Fine HERE

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$500

Sam's Food Store 

1700 Mineral Spring Ave. 

North Providence 

Decision Date: 6-10-2014

Read Fine HERE

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$500

Sam's Food Stores 

1 Humbert Street

North Providence

Decision Date: 12-2-2014

Read Fine HERE

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$500

Sams Market 

222 Admiral Street

Providence 

Decision Date: 8-11-2014

Read Fine HERE

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$500

Sunoco 

2003 Post Road

Warwick 

Decision Date: 12-12-2014

Read Fine HERE

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$500

Sunoco

481 Warren Ave

East Providence 

Decision Date: 1-26-2015

Read Fine HERE

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$500

Sunoco

597 Branch Avenue 

Providence 

Decision Date: 3-31-2015

Read Fine HERE

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$2,000

Back Track Bar & Grille 

9 Industrial Drive

Westerly

Decision Date: 11-4-2004

Read Fine HERE

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$2,500

Bahra's Market

900 Charles Street

North Providence

Decision Date: 5-6-2015

Read Fine HERE

 
 

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