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Deputies Arrest One Following Illegal Vaping Sales ‘Sting’

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San Andreas, CA — Sheriff’s officials are sharing the recent arrest of a store employee as a cautionary tale to hopefully discourage sales of vaping materials to anyone under the age of 21.

According to Calaveras County Sheriff’s spokesperson Sgt. Greg Stark, a “problem-oriented enforcement operation” conducted a week ago included the cooperative involvement of a person under the age of 21, who was asked to and subsequently attempted to purchase a vape pen containing flavored nicotine from a Valley Springs store.

“During the transaction, the clerk of the store checked the identification of the ‘customer’ which confirmed that he/she was not old enough to legally purchase the product,” Stark recounts. “Despite this information, the vape pen was sold in violation of the law as the minimum age to purchase tobacco-related products in California is 21.” A citation for knowingly furnishing a minor with tobacco was issued to the clerk, 38-year-old Guillermo Escobar-Ibarra.

Sheriff’s officials note that while they can and will continue to conduct necessary enforcement activities, especially when they detect a problem parents and guardians should do their part to prevent kids from smoking in the first place.

“Maintain a dialogue — begin talking with your kids about smoking at a young age as most people start smoking between the age of 11 to 14, and don’t talk about just cigarettes. Children are exposed to cigars, e-cigarette vaping, and smokeless tobacco of which several are ‘flavored’ options< Stark advises. “Talk to your children about peer pressure and how they can respond to a situation where a friend offers them tobacco products — and talk openly about the negative long-lasting effects of using tobacco products.”