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Sting Nabs Stores Selling Tobacco to Minors

The County’s Public Health and Sheriff’s departments announced this week the results of a sting operation to track how often tobacco was sold to minors. Of the 276 tobacco retailers surveyed countywide, 17 percent—or 48—sold cigarettes to an underage decoy. Santa Barbara is one of around 80 California communities that makes tobacco retailers pay an annual fee for their licenses, but officials are hoping to augment the rules soon. “These local policies have definitely [decreased illegal sales], however, they were passed almost 10 years ago and could be more effective if they were updated,” said Dawn Dunn, tobacco program administrator.

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