Restricting Youth Access Is The Key To Breaking The Cycle Of Smoking


Cigarette smoking during childhood and adolescence causes significant health problems,including respiratory symptoms such as coughing, phlegm and wheezing; asthma-related symptoms and impaired lung growth. It can also cause early onset of lung function decline during late adolescence and early adulthood. According to the National Lung Association, ninety percent of adults who smoke started by age 21 and half of them had become regular smokers before their eighteenth birthday. “If youth access to tobacco is to be controlled effectively, and the decision whether to smoke is delayed until adulthood, then over time, smoking will be greatly reduced as a major addiction in our society,” stated Chief Frank Kaminski.
“Unfortunately, cigarette accessibility to minors is still a problem in society,” Kaminski said. High school students who smoked usually got their cigarettes by either buying them from a store or gas station (29.1%), borrowing or bumming them (23.2%), having someone else buy them (20.8%), some other way (10.9%), from someone 18 or older (9.8%), by taking them from a store or family (5.3%), or from a vending machine (1%) according to a study conducted in 2007 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another study conducted in 2004 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that (71%) of middle and (64%) of high school smokers were not asked to show proof of age when purchasing cigarettes. In addition, (66%) of middle and (62%) of high school smokers were not refused purchase of cigarettes because of their age.
            In an effort to address this issue, Park Ridge Police investigators conducted tobacco compliance inspections on February 20, 2013. Investigators enlisted the help of volunteers under the age of 18 to attempt to purchase tobacco in a controlled buy. These controlled buy attempts were made at every store in Park Ridge where tobacco is being sold. “Keeping tobacco products out of kids' hands is a critical part of helping reduce underage tobacco use and I am pleased that almost every business in our town offering tobacco products for sale, was in compliance. It illustrates that these merchants are taking a responsible role in restricting youth access to tobacco. However, because one business did sell, it also illustrates that more work does need to be done in this area. ” Kaminski concluded.
The following is a complete list of businesses that did not sell tobacco to minors:
CVS (2648 W. Dempster), OK Smokers Tobacco (2604 W. Dempster), Walgreens (800 W. Devon), 7-11 (976 N. Northwest Hwy.), Shell (2301 W. Touhy), Shell (1200 W. Touhy), Amoco/BP (1220 W. Touhy), Thorton’s (1118 W. Touhy), Walgreens (901 W. Touhy), Around the World (31 S. Prospect), Park Ridge Country Club (636 N. Prospect), Marathon (525 W. Talcott), Dominick’s (1900 s. Cumberland), Jewel/Osco (481 Busse Hwy.), Save-A-Lot (110 Euclid), Premium Cigar Experience (1101 W. Touhy)  and 7-11 (555 W. Devon) .  7-11/Citgo (814 W. Higgins) is currently under construction and was not checked.
            The following is a complete list of businesses that did sell tobacco to a minor:
Shell (900 W. Talcott) Sureshbhai Patel M/W 42 yoa of Chicago is charged with 12-9-5, Prohibited sale of tobacco.
            This retailer was cited on November 28, 2012 for the same offense during the Fall 2012 tobacco compliance inspections.
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