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Tobacco sales to minors hit all-time low

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Tobacco product sales to teens assisting with the annual Tobacco Retailer Inspection Program (TRIP) in Indiana hit a new all-time low last year, with sales occurring during 3.8 percent of more than 8,400 inspections.

In Indiana it is illegal for a clerk or a retail establishment to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18.

The 2010 inspection results by tobacco type sold to TRIP youth continue to be similar to those from 2009. Youths request cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, or cigars during each inspection. Cigars were asked for the least, but had the highest sales rate. When cigars were asked for by a youth, they were sold 5.6 percent of the time. Cigarettes were requested most frequently, but stores only sold to the youth 2.7 percent of the time.

When TRIP inspections began in 2000, 40 percent of retailers were found to have sold tobacco to minors, and the state saw six consecutive years of decline until 2007’s slight increase. The downward trend in tobacco sales to youth resumed in 2008 and continued with last year’s record low.

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