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


            In an effort to address this issue, Park Ridge Police investigators conducted tobacco compliance inspections on November 1, 2013. Investigators enlisted the help of volunteers under the age of 18 to attempt to purchase tobacco products 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. ” Kaminski concluded.
Congratulations to the 15 retail stores in Park Ridge who did not sell cigarettes to minors during the Park Ridge Police compliance check that took place on November 1st. The following businesses did their part in eliminating/decreasing access to tobacco for Park Ridge teens:
CVS (2648 W. Dempster), OK Smokers Tobacco (2604 W. Dempster), Walgreens (800 W. Devon), 7-11 (976 N. Northwest Hwy.), 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), Dominick’s (1900 s. Cumberland), Jewel/Osco (481 Busse Hwy.), Save-A-Lot (110 Euclid), Premium Cigar Experience (1101 W. Touhy), 7-11 (555 W. Devon) &7-11/Citgo (814 W. Higgins).
Unfortunately, three local merchants were not in compliance and made sales of tobacco products to an underage person. The following merchants were cited during the operation: Marathon at 525 W. Talcott, Shell at 900 Talcott and Shell at 2301 W. Touhy. All three employees were issued citations and given a court date of 12/10/2013.
 Local data shows Park Ridge businesses protect our youth by not selling tobacco products to minors. The vast majority of students in Grades 8-12 in Maine Township reported not getting cigarettes from stores or gas stations. This means businesses who offer tobacco for sale are doing their part in restricting access to cigarettes from kids. Less than 8% of 8-12th graders said they got cigarettes from a gas station or store, according to the 2012 Illinois Youth Survey.

               Reducing youth access to cigarettes is important because research shows that most smokers started smoking cigarettes as children and smoking is the #1 preventable cause of death in the United States. Park Ridge Police perform periodic compliance checks of retail businesses to ensure compliance with the law and to promote the health and safety of our youth. The department supports community efforts such as these and the work of the Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation (MCYAF). The results indicate that these efforts are working because, according to surveys, ninety percent (90%) of Maine Township High School students do not smoke cigarettes/are smoke-free.

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