Identify, contact and visit tobacco retail outlets to provide information and materials (brochures, signs, Red Flag Merchant Education packet) on youth access to tobacco laws
Best Practice Steps:
- Prevention providers will ensure they have adequate materials (i.e. Red Flag packets and/or state law signage) before conducting merchant education by ordering materials at the following website: http://us398.agstorefront.com/ustore/36/home
- Prevention providers will use their tobacco retailer lists within the merchant tracker in ECCO to plan merchant education efforts.
- Prevention providers will ensure the person who talks to merchants (adult volunteers, staff or youth etc.) is knowledgeable and well versed in youth access laws and Red Flag materials.
- Prevention providers will contact tobacco retail outlets in their area(s) to ensure they have received specific information (i.e. Red Flag Merchant Education packet) on their responsibilities and the penalties for violation of state and federal youth access laws.
- Prevention providers, if applicable, will partner with community youth groups to visit tobacco retail outlets in their area(s) to provide information and materials (i.e. brochures, signs) on state youth access law.
- On the day of the visit, prevention providers and/or volunteers will wait for an opportunity to speak to the most responsible person on duty (suggested visit hours are between 10 am-2 pm).
- Prevention providers and/or volunteers will introduce themselves and state the purpose for the visit (to educate about youth access laws and to offer free Red Flag materials) and will ask to speak to an owner, manager or assistant manager.
- Prevention providers and/or volunteers will conduct a brief 1-3 minute conversation with the employee (or manager, if available) about the following information:
- Ask for a valid form of identification such as a driver’s license, state ID card, military ID or passport
- Ensure the picture matches and birth date states they are over the age of 18.
- Promote the free, online ALE training available (and give the person the Be A Responsible Seller/Server [BARS] training information)
- NC state law sign posting (if not immediately visible)
- Reminder that NC law makes it illegal to sell, give or distribute electronic or e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18.
- Checking ID for anyone purchasing tobacco products that appears to be under the age of 27. When checking for an ID:
6. Prevention providers and/or volunteers will encourage the Manager/Assistant Manager/Owner, if available, to:
- Ensure tobacco products are not easily accessible and/or available to youth
- Educate themselves on state and federal tobacco laws
- Establish policies and procedures for selling tobacco products and encourage every employee to read and sign the policies before they start selling tobacco products
- Offer routine employee training in order to help employees comply with the NC law that includes detecting fake IDs, refusing sales to minors and penalties for violating the law
7. Prevention providers and/or volunteers will consider reporting violations as necessary to the ALE or FDA. Issues of concern/violations include stores selling loosies, no state signs posted, tobacco products by the cash register etc.
8. Prevention providers will complete a North Carolina Tobacco Merchant Education form for each tobacco retailer visited.
9. Prevention providers will enter the information from the North Carolina Tobacco Merchant Education form into the merchant tracker in ECCO under Part 1 Merchant Education Visit.
10. Prevention providers will add new merchants identified and keep their tobacco retailer lists updated in the merchant tracker in ECCO.
11. Prevention providers will not visit tobacco retailers more than twice in a fiscal year unless warranted (i.e. additional signage or red flag packet requests, etc.)
12. Prevention providers will be intentional in conducting merchant education by choosing one of the following approaches:
- Provide merchant education for tobacco retailers with violations on FDA website:
- Administer merchant education for 90% of retail outlets in a given area (zip, city, county, census tract/block, etc.) to count all the 12-17 year olds in that census unit.
Reach: Count merchants trained and the 12-17 year olds in your merchant education catchment area, if done comprehensively
Suggested collection of process evaluation information, including:
- Number of tobacco retail outlets visited
- Number of adult and youth volunteers