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Local retailers caught selling tobacco products to minors

 

More than a dozen retailers were reported to be selling tobacco products to minors. (Thinkstock)
More than a dozen retailers were reported to be selling tobacco products to minors. (Thinkstock)

A doughnut shop, several liquor stores and Bristol Farms’ Westwood location were among more than a dozen retailers recently caught selling tobacco products to minors, City Attorney Mike Feuer reported today.

Feuer said 30-day suspensions were issued to 14 retailers. The worst offender during the undercover sting operation was PK’s Donut & Ice Cream in Echo Park, according to the city attorney.

Other retailers issued suspensions included a Shell gas station in South Los Angeles and two 76 stations in Koreatown, a 7-Eleven in Boyle Heights, Angelica’s Meat Market in South Los Angeles and 7&7 Liquor in Van Nuys.

The suspensions were issued as Feuer joined City Council members to announce stepped-up enforcement against illegal tobacco sales to minors.

Feuer said he is upping compliance checks by 50 percent, to 700 checks a year. He also plans to offer anti-tobacco educational programs at four schools in Van Nuys, South Los Angeles, Hollywood and the Westlake/MacArthur Park area.

The retailers caught selling tobacco to minors in the latest sting were located near a total of 26 schools, Feuer said.

With his “neighborhood-focused approach,” the city attorney said he is “committed to systematically and effectively curtailing tobacco sales to minors.”

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who represents the Echo Park area, said he is joining Feuer’s effort by introducing a motion that asks the city attorney’s office to report back in 60 days on current enforcement, such as the number of violations and compliance checks, and suggest areas that could be strengthened.

The motion, which has been assigned to the council’s Arts, Parks, Health, Aging and River Committee, was co-authored by Councilwoman Nury Martinez and seconded by Councilmen Bernard Parks and Paul Koretz.

O’Farrell said he wants to “be sure we have the policy in place to protect young Angelenos and the right enforcement tools to make an impact.”

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