Seven area businesses sold tobacco products to minors, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, which conducted a sting operation between July and early November.
The sheriff’s office deployed a pair of “local decoys” to attempt to purchase tobacco at 50 retailers in unincorporated areas throughout the county, including San Miguel, Santa Margarita, Cambria, Cayucos, Los Osos, Avila Beach, Oceano and Nipomo. California raised the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 in 2016.
The following stores were found in violation:
▪ Valley Liquor, 2199 10th St., Los Osos (first violation)
▪ Johnson’s Market, 1262 Pacific Boulevard, Oceano (second violation)
▪ Cayucos Liquor, 75 South Ocean Boulevard, Cayucos (second violation)
▪ Cookie Crock Market, 1240 Knollwood Drive, Cambria (second violation)
▪ Mesa View Market, 610 Mesa View Drive, Arroyo Grande (third violation)
▪ La Placita Market, 515 Orchard Rd., Nipomo (fourth violation)
▪ Bob & Jan’s Bottle Shop, 2292 Main St., Cambria (fourth violation)
It is a misdemeanor to sell tobacco products to underage buyers; businesses found in violation are subject to a $1,000 fine for each offense and the suspension of their ability to sell tobacco.
The Grover Beach Police Department recently conducted its own tobacco sting operation, issuing citations to three retailers in that case.