PREVENTING TOBACCO SALES TO YOUTH UNDER THE AGE OF 18
–Reward Reminder Visits
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma- Each day, over 6,000 youth become regular smokers. This is an annual cost of nearly $12 million that youth spend purchasing cigarettes or other tobacco products. Eagle Ridge Institute is a non-profit 501C3 community prevention, education, intervention agency, and works to ensure positive outcomes leading to a decrease in underage tobacco use. Eagle Ridge has Regional Prevention Coordinators (RPC) funded through the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) assigned to provide the services mentioned above. One of the strategies used by Eagle Ridge Institute is to execute reward reminder visits at local convenience stores, grocery stores, and any locations that sell tobacco products. The purpose is to educate store managers and store clerks on how to properly check for identification to ensure tobacco products are not being sold to our youth under the age of 18. Selling tobacco products may be a part of their job, but it is against the law to sell tobacco products to persons under the age of 18. Our efforts in 2010 resulted in visiting 250 local stores, and having 17 illegal sales. Results as of July 1st, 2011 had 125 visits with only five stores selling to our youth. We will continue our efforts throughout the 2012 fiscal year. Tobacco sales to minors are on the decline in our Metro Area. These continued successes will come from increased community awareness and involvement.
For more information about prevention efforts, and what you can do to help in the METRO OKC AREA, call JEANETTE COSBY, SOCIAL MEDIA TECH; EAGLE RIDGE INSTITIUTE at (405) 840-1359.