Youth tobacco purchases down

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Fewer underage youths are buying cigarettes at Nevada's stores and more are being asked for ID when they try.

Attorney General Brian Sandoval said the Nevada Department of Education's Youth Risk Behavior Study shows the percentage of high school smokers able to buy their own cigarettes at a store has dropped sharply since enforcement efforts began in 1995.

Now, he said, 11 percent of those who try are actually able to buy cigarettes from a store.

In addition, he said the use of tobacco is decreasing among Nevada high school students. In 1995, Sandoval said 33 percent of high schools students had smoked during the previous month. This past year, that had dropped to 19.6 percent.

The enforcement program includes sending underage youths into stores to try to purchase cigarettes. If they are successful, the store and clerk are cited and fined.

"Everyone in Nevada, the health community, the schools, and retailers have partnered to reduce the problem of smoking and tobacco use by our children," said Senior Deputy John Albrecht. "These results show that when we work together, we are successful."


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