The Harford County Sheriff's Office cited three Fallston establishments for selling cigarettes to a 16-year-old volunteer during unannounced tobacco compliance checks at eight county businesses.
The Tobacco Enforcement Manager at the Harford County Health Department conducted the tobacco compliance checks to determine whether merchants were complying with the Maryland Youth Access Law. The law states that it is illegal for anyone, including merchants, friends or parents to sell or distribute tobacco products to customers younger than 18.
The Sheriff's Office said the three merchants who did not comply with the Maryland Youth Access Law and sold cigarettes to the underage volunteer were Acme Markets, 2315 Belair Road; a 7-Eleven at 2400 Pleasantville Road; and Bel Air Sunoco, 1515 Belair Road.
Cashiers at Acme Markets and 7-Eleven asked the minor for age-identification. After producing identification that stated the volunteer was 16 years old, the cashiers sold a package of cigarettes to the minor, Sheriff's Office officials said. Bel Air Sunoco did not ask for age identification before selling cigarettes to the youth.
Refusing to sell to the minor after the cashiers asked to see age identification and determined the customer was younger than 18 were Royal Farms, 1915 Belair Road; CVS (Revco Discount Drug), 2315 Belair Road; Fallston Shell, 2401 Belair Road; Rite Aid, 2026 Fallston Road; and Fallston Service Center, 602 Fallston Road.
The three establishments that violated the Maryland Youth Access Law received citations from the Sheriff's Office. The fines are up to $300 for a first violation, up to $1,000 for a second violation and up to $3,000 for a third.
A store's license can be revoked or suspended if they fail to comply with the law.
The Health Department's enforcement case manager offers vendor training workshops to store owners and managers to give them information needed to comply with the Maryland Youth Access Law and how to avoid selling tobacco products to anyone younger than 18.
Closings announced for holidays
Harford County government offices will be closed tomorrow and Tuesday for Christmas.
The Harford County Waste Disposal Center will be closed both days. Waste to Energy will be open tomorrow and closed Tuesday.
Senior centers will be closed tomorrow and Tuesday.
Harford Transit will be closed Tuesday.
The Harford County Public Library will be closed tomorrow and Tuesday.
Public schools are closed through Jan. 1.