Three SLO County clerks cited for sale of tobacco to youths

slinn@thetribunenews.comMay 14, 2013 

Clerks at three San Luis Obispo County stores were caught selling tobacco to minors during a recent sting, the county Sheriff’s Office reported Monday.

Clerks at Avila Mercantile and Grocery in Avila Beach, Mike’s Tin Can in California Valley and Monarch Dunes Golf Course Pro Shop in Nipomo, were each cited for unlawful sales of tobacco to a minor, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

Mike’s Tin Can was also cited two county code violations — for engaging in business without a business license and selling tobacco products without a county-issued tobacco retailer’s license.

Of the three clerks who sold tobacco to underage teen decoys, two did not ask for identification and completed the sale. Under California law, it is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone younger than 18.

Avila Mercantile and Grocery had been previously cited for selling tobacco to a minor in June 2012.

The county Health Agency, in coordination with the Sheriff’s Office, conducted a countywide tobacco sales compliance check that ended May 3. The compliance checks focused on 58 retailers in unincorporated communities including Avila Beach, Cambria, Cayucos, Los Osos, Nipomo, Oceano, San Miguel and Santa Margarita.

Last year, clerks at six of the 52 county retailers visited by decoys were caught selling tobacco to minors.

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