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Calaveras Officials Feel It Is Too Easy For Minors To Buy Cigarettes

Angels Camp, CA — Students at Bret Harte High School recently conducted a study in conjunction with the Calaveras County Public Health Department to find out how easy or difficult it is to purchase tobacco underage.

The students attempted to buy cigarettes at 39 businesses, and 33% (13) willingly sold to the students. When the clerks asked for an ID, the students showed their personal identification cards, clearly confirming that they are under the age of 18.

“What we know about cigarette smoking is that the younger they are when they start, the more likely they are to become addicted,” says Dr. Dean Kelaita, Calaveras County Public Health Officer. “Selling to the underage is occurring at an unacceptable rate.”

Three of the nine tobacco retailers in Angels Camp sold to the minors, so the students recently took the findings to the Angels Camp City Council.

Angels Camp Mayor Jack Lynch has released a statement reading, “Youth, working with Public Health and the City Council, can initiate and sustain community change.”

The students were encouraged to meet with the city’s Safety Services Committee when they return to school next month.

Written by bjhansen@mlode.com.