14 local stores cited for selling tobacco to minors

A tobacco sting was conducted in the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County over the weekend that found 14 stores in violation of selling tobacco products to minors.

The compliance check, a joint effort by the San Luis Obispo County Health Agency’s Tobacco Control Program and the Sheriff’s Office was conducted county wide ending Sunday. It utilized three underage decoys at 54 businesses.

In this operation, more than a quarter of the businesses sold to minors, up 14 percent from last year. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the percentage of offending businesses has more than doubled each year for the past two years.

Businesses cited for a first violation were Central Market in Oceano; Baywood Market and Tobacco Castle in Los Osos; and Nipomo Marketplace, Nipomo Smoke Shop, CVS and Vons on West Tefft Street in Nipomo.

Stores cited for a second violation were Bob & Jan’s Bottle Shop in Cambria, Mesa View Market in Arroyo Grande, Santa Margarita KOA in Santa Margarita, and La Placita Market and Nipomo Stop N’ Buy in Nipomo.

Mission Market & Deli in San Miguel and Oceano Market & Gas in Oceano were third-time offenders.