AZ Attorney General conducting e-cig stings using undercover youth purchasers, 20 fines issued to violators

Discussion in 'Media and General News' started by Bill Godshall, Nov 29, 2013.

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  1. Bill Godshall

    Bill Godshall Executive Director
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    AZ Attorney General stings e-cig retailers using undercover youth purchasers, 20 cited for violations
    Officials, advocates hope state ban on e-cigarettes curbs rising use among kids

    All e-cig retailers (including those selling on Internet) should ensure that they ID all young looking customers, and refuse sales to all minors, and anyone who doesn't have ID.

    Although very few youth may actually attempt to buy e-cigs, State AGs and/or health departments in the 25 states where its illegal to sell e-cigs to minors are now very likely to conduct sting operations on e-cig retailers (using undercover youth purchasers) just trying to catch them selling to youth (so they can issue fines to retailers, and issue a press release to the news media claiming lots of e-cig retailers are illegally selling to minors).


    While State AGs and/or other law enforcement agencies can only enforce laws in jurisdictions that have already enacted them (i.e. 25 states and a dozen or so municipalities), I also suspect that some state and/or local health departments and/or their funded anti tobacco groups may begin conducting very similar compliance checks on e-cig retailers in the other 25 states that haven't yet banned e-cig sales to minors.

    While a sting operation is a law enforcement action, compliance checks don't result in any fines against retailers, but they still result in press releases to the news media listing the names of stores that were caught selling to minors.

    Back in the early 1990's, I helped expose the epidemic (>65% sales rate) of illegal cigarette sales to minors by conducting and publicizing compliance checks against cigarette retailers, and by campaigning to enact laws and regulations requiring cigarette sting operations by law enforcement agencies, which has sharply reduced the rate of illegal cigarette sales to youth to about 5%.

    While I don't think there is any justification for conducting compliance checks or stings on e-cig vendors (as <1% of teen nonsmokers report past month e-cig use), e-cig opponents will be increasingly conducting compliance checks and sting operations against e-cig vendors just to demonize and harass them.

    If/when FDA regulations are imposed on e-cigs, the FDA will routinely conduct sting operations (using undercover youth) on virtually every e-cig retailer in America (and those abroad if selling on the Internet).
    First offense for violators will be a $250-$500 fine, with increasing fines for subsequent offenses.

    FDA regs also almost certainly will require all e-cigs to be stored behind the counter of all retail stores (except for tobacco specialty stores that have signs on the door saying NO ONE UNDER 18 PERMITTED, which is the best option for all vape shops), and any violations of that (or hundreds of other FDA regs) will also result in $250-$500 fines for first offense.
     
  2. Uma

    Uma Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Christmas shopping for loved ones. They certainly timed this to fit their agenda didn't they. That's really deeky.
     
  3. AgentAnia

    AgentAnia Vaping Master ECF Veteran

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    Where sales to minors are prohibited by law, I can't object on legal principle to sting operations (I don't like them mostly, but can't find any objection to them except they're open to abuse). If the ANTZs conduct "investigative" stings where sales are *not* prohibited by law, that's just sleazy. Which is typical, now that I think about it...
     
  4. WindyCityJoe

    WindyCityJoe Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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  5. AgentAnia

    AgentAnia Vaping Master ECF Veteran

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    Apparently, as long as the children are not being abused by secondhand smoke, the AG isn't interested. It's all about priorities, dontcha know... :glare:
     
  6. WhiteHighlights

    WhiteHighlights Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Once again, it's a dear Dr. who is leading the charge with misinformation -

    Nicotine leads to memory impairment? a gateway to cigarette smoking AND other addictions? even passing legislation, regardless of what may come of it is what we need?? :facepalm:

    She finishes with:
    Uhm, I don't think they're being marketed this way as manufacturers can't make that claim without running into govt regs. As users we say its a safer alternative...
     
  7. AgentAnia

    AgentAnia Vaping Master ECF Veteran

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    Judging by the number of pediatricians I've read about spouting this same uninformed hogwash, it looks to me like Big Control has recruited specifically from this specialty as part of their "save the children" campaign. Even though she doesn't mention children in her statements (at least as you quote her, WhiteHighlights), her specialty is clearly identified so the connection is implied.

    I hope she knows more about treating children than she does about smoking and nicotine! Memory impairment? Au contraire! Leads to smoking and other addictions? Show me the carfax! (She has accomplished one thing, though. She has demonstrated to however many thousands of vapers who read her pronouncements that she's ignorant, and arrogant in her ignorance. Not sterling qualities in a physician...
     
  8. rothenbj

    rothenbj Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I'd be curious to see the demographics of the plants being used. I'd bet none are of an age that a pediatrician would normally have as a patient. I know pediatricians like to believe they should keep the "child" as a patient until they're 21. That being said, many parents then choose to switch to a family doctor by the time they turn teenager.
     
  9. AgentAnia

    AgentAnia Vaping Master ECF Veteran

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    If I were planning such a sting, I'd find "youth" aged 17 years 10-11 months who look and can act much older, around at least 25 if possible.
     
  10. NorthOfAtlanta

    NorthOfAtlanta Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Another question would be what type of store this happened in. Most of the time they hit the convenience stores for their stings, I would be suprised to see any B&M vapor store do this.
     
  11. Kent C

    Kent C ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    "?" Exactly. That's contrary to good, non-political science and basic self experience.

    Wikipedia:

    Nicotine. Findings from both human and animal studies have indicated that acute administration of nicotine can improve cognitive performance (particularly tasks that require attention), short-term episodic memory and prospective memory task performance. Chronic usage of low-dose nicotine in animals has been found to increase the number of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and improve performance on learning and memory tasks.[27][28][29] Short-term nicotine treatment, utilising nicotine skin patches, have shown that it may be possible to improve cognitive performance in a variety of groups such as normal non-smoking adults, Alzheimer’s disease patients, schizophrenics, and adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.[30] Similarly, evidence suggests that smoking improves visuospatial working memory impairments in schizophrenic patients, possible explaining the high rate of tobacco smoking found in people with schizophrenia.[31] However, evidence suggests that low doses of nicotine facilitate memory and high doses have no significant effect or may impair memory.[27]

    Note that "[27]" is the link to the same study. In one case above (with 27,28,29) shows 'chronic use .... improved performance'. And in the last sentence 'high dose have no significant effect or may impair' - which is itself, a bit of a contradiction (how can you conclude "no significant effect" and "may impair"??) , but with the other is a complete contradiction, imo.... UNLESS they're talking overdose (as high dose), but if so, they should say that.

    27. Üzum, G., Diler, A. S., Bagcekapili, N., Tasyurekli, M. T., & Ziylan, Y. Z. (2004). Nicotine improves learning and memory in rats: morphological evidence for acetylcholine involvement. Intern. J. Neuroscience, 114:1163-1179.
     
  12. AgentAnia

    AgentAnia Vaping Master ECF Veteran

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    Unfortunately for Dr. Sara Bode, I have an *excellent* memory, and I will remember her name and her comments... :sneaky:
     
  13. Mrs C

    Mrs C Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Not sure how they do it in other states. In Indiana for alcohol and tobacco stings they send in very young looking "of age" individual's, and also underage. A store fails if they do not card, or actually sell to someone who present's an ID that show's them to be under age.

    I have no problem with it. The law is the law.

    When I was a C_Store manager several the manager's in our district had teenager's and we periodically did our own sting's, so we hopefully could weed out problem cashier's before the state checks caught them.
     
  14. NorthOfAtlanta

    NorthOfAtlanta Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Just good business practice, getting the X store sells alcohol and cigarettes to underage kids on the front page of the local paper just isn't the best form of advertisement.
     
  15. Jonathan Tittle

    Jonathan Tittle Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

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    I mentioned something like this would start happening soon in another thread, so I'm not surprised it is happening. It's only a matter of time before we see more and more states doing the exact same thing.

    Am I all for outing a business on the front page of a newspaper? Sure. It teaches the a lesson. Sorry if that comes off as harsh, but if any business owner can't be bothered to train their employees properly they don't need to be in business. The same applies to managers of all restaurants and stores. If these people can't train their staff correctly, they don't need to be in a managerial position.

    The harsh reality is that this will continue to happen. You may not read about it daily, but it'll continue to happen. Only when one store or store owner gets hit will you actually read about it making news. Those stores will be an example for the rest to get it together and start caring, or get fined and potentially close up shop.
     
  16. Kent C

    Kent C ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I agree BUT... They should list the teenagers' and their parents' names as well.
     
  17. Jonathan Tittle

    Jonathan Tittle Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

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    Not all states will allow the names of teenagers to be released when a crime, regardless of size, is committed, so it's not a matter of media outlets not wanting to release that info when someone breaks the law, it's a matter of will they get sued if they do. Don't forget the US is a sue-happy nation. There are people that will sue for anything and lawyers that will gladly take the case just to catch a break.

    As for things in general, when a raid or sting operation is conducted, if the people involved are of age, the names are generally released if they are known at the time of article submission and publication. If they aren't, the names don't get published and most outlets have better things to worry about than following up with such information unless there just happens to be zero stories in the line-up.

    I do agree that parents should be watching over their children better, but let's be real, some parents really don't need to be parents, so there's always going to be children that get taken in by the wrong crowd who will do the wrong things. Even children of what I would most consider perfect parents steer the wrong direction once in a while. It's just a way of learning although some people steer a little too far off path, which is what gets them in major trouble.

     
  18. Kent C

    Kent C ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I know what some policies state but they should be changed. They're part of the situation. Name the parents, anyway.

    Want to stop some of the lawsuits? - get judges who don't make excuses for parents and children.
     
  19. SteampunkPirate

    SteampunkPirate Full Member Verified Member

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    I wonder how often they do this with actual tobacco products?

    Chance (Living in Tucson, AZ).
     
  20. tommy2bad

    tommy2bad Super Member ECF Veteran

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    Probably about the same but it isn't reported. Ecigs are the new video games, video nasties, rock n roll. Media is in a feeding frenzy for negative stories.
     
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