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 December 13th, 2012  
Compliance improves by merchants who refuse to sell tobacco products to minors, according to St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara
A Wednesday night St. Lucie County undercover operation showed a significant improvement in compliance with laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to minors, according to St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

"I want to thank all the merchants in our county who followed the law and didn't sell tobacco to those under 18," Sheriff Mascara said. "Fifty-seven of the 60 stores we checked followed the law. That's a 95 percent compliance rate."

The Sheriff said that a similar operation in may showed a disappointing 73 percent compliance rate.

"A 22 percentage point increase in compliance shows that retail businesses are getting the message that they must comply with the state tobacco sales laws," Sheriff Mascara said.

Deputies from the St. Lucie County Sheriff's School Resource Deputy Unit staffed the operation, supervising undercover persons younger than 18 provided by the Tobacco Free Partnership of St. Lucie County and Students Working Against Tobacco.

The three non-compliant businesses were:

Pilot Travel Center, 7300 West Okeechobee Blvd., Fort Pierce; C.V.S., 9801 South U.S.1, and Westar, 2200 S.E. Walton Road, Port St. Lucie.

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