Contact and assist local law enforcement/ALE officers to conduct tobacco compliance checks and tobacco retailer training.
Best Practice Steps
- Prevention providers will contact officers from their local police or sheriffs’ departments to promote increased enforcement of youth access laws
- If applicable, prevention providers will assist in the recruitment of male and female 16 to 17 age range youth who appear their age (and should not misrepresent their age at any time).
- If applicable, prevention providers will assist in age testing efforts by having 15 adults guess the ages of the youth being used in the inspection to calculate an average age of appearance. All youth must appear to be under eighteen to participate.
- If applicable, prevention providers will ensure the youth will be dressed for inspections in the same way they were dressed when they went through the age estimation procedure to assure that no one could say that they looked younger or older than their stated age.
- If applicable, prevention providers will assist with the maintenance of a secure file including, but not limited to: Copy of birth certificate, NC State-issued photo identification card/Driver’s License, Parental Consent form and medical release, Emergency contact information and Headshot of youth inspector
- If applicable, prevention providers will assist in training adult chaperone/monitor(s) and youth inspectors in Tobacco Inspection protocols.
- If applicable, prevention providers will assist with inspection route planning using the retailer list provided by DMH and will coordinate/designate and communicate a location for the youth and law enforcement officer to meet at least 48 hours in advance of the check.
- Prevention providers will assist local law enforcement/ALE officers in the implementation of tobacco compliance checks and retailer training by participating in ANY of the following tasks (note: block grant funds may not be used for actual enforcement activities)
Update DMH provided list of all retail tobacco outlets
- Recruitment and age testing of youth for an enforcement operation
- Serving as an adult observer or monitor during an enforcement operation
- Provision of incentives for clerks who don’t sell tobacco products to minors during enforcement operations
- Provision of refreshments and/or incentives to youth
- Assisting in coordination and recruitment of store employees to participate in retailer trainings conducted by law enforcement officers. Retailers cited for violations of the youth access to tobacco law (s) will be recruited to attend the training.
- Prevention providers and team (adult chaperone/monitor, youth and law enforcement) will assist and/or proceed to the first store location. Upon arriving at each location, if possible, the driver will attempt to park in a location that is not visible to the clerk so as not to alert the clerk to the occurrence of a compliance check inspection.
- Prevention providers and/or the adult chaperone/monitor should discuss a plan including who will enter and in what order, what type of product to purchase, what location to purchase from and any potential security issues.
- Prevention providers and/or the adult chaperone/monitor will determine the safety of the location in consultation with the youth and law enforcement officer. A signal for aborting the location due to safety concerns should be established ahead of time.
- Prevention providers and/or the adult chaperone/monitor will ensure the youth has funds for a tobacco purchase (small bills) and verify the youth has his or her ID.
- Prevention providers and/or the chaperone/monitor will determine if his or her presence in the store will compromise the inspection and the location is deemed adequately safe, the youth will enter the store alone and attempt to purchase a tobacco product (e.g., smokeless tobacco or cigarettes) while the chaperone/monitors the door.
- The prevention provider and/or chaperone/monitor shall maintain a clear and unobstructed view of the minor at all times while they are in the store in the event the prevention provider and/or chaperone/monitor is not able to go into the store with the youth.
- The prevention provider and/or chaperone/monitor will enter the store if the youth does not emerge within a reasonable time to have attempted to purchase a regulated tobacco product (5 minutes).
- If the prevention provider and/or adult chaperone/monitor presence in the store will not compromise the inspection, the chaperone/monitor and the youth will enter the store in the most natural way possible.
- The prevention provider and/or chaperone/monitor will instruct youth to carry money needed to pay for the tobacco product and will first try to purchase from a self-service display. If this is unavailable, a single pack of cigarettes or other tobacco product will be requested at your agency’s discretion. After the purchase attempt, the youth will exit the establishment with or without the tobacco product.
- If a tobacco product was purchased, the youth will immediately hand over the purchased tobacco product and receipt (if applicable) to the adult chaperone/monitor or law enforcement officer. The compilation of tobacco products will be at the discretion of the law enforcement officer. The law enforcement officer will proceed inside of the store to enforce General Statute 14-313b which allows the law enforcement officer to issue citation to the clerk for selling tobacco to a minor.
- The prevention provider and/or chaperone/monitor will ask and ensure the young adult inspector to complete a N.C. Tobacco Retail Outlet Inspection Form immediately in its entirety following each attempted inspection.
- All tobacco products will be destroyed per the procedures of the local law enforcement agency.
Reach: Count law enforcement personnel supported/trained
If they conduct compliance checks comprehensively, also count the 12-17 age group in the catchment area not counted under Synar merchant education
Suggested collection of process evaluation information, including:
- Number of local law enforcement/ALE officers contacted and/or meetings held
- List of all retail tobacco outlets
- Protocol for recruitment/age testing of youth
- Number of enforcement operations
- Number of times served as an adult observer/monitor during enforcement operations
- Number of incentives disseminated to clerks and/or youth
- Number of refreshments disseminated to youth for enforcement activities
- Number of retailers recruited (who violated youth access to tobacco laws)
- Number of retailer training workshops offered in conjunction with local law enforcement
- Number of participants in retailer education workshops
- Number of retailers attended (who violated youth access to tobacco laws)