Greenville Police Officers, with the help of several young adults, conducted a Sting Operation on local businesses that sell tobacco and vape products. Stores can only sell tobacco and vape products to persons aged 21 or older.
They randomly selected 23 stores, and plain-clothed Greenville Police Officers used young adults to buy either tobacco or vape products. Of the 23 locations visited, seven, or 30%, sold either tobacco or vape products to underage adults. Selling tobacco products to a minor is a Class C Misdemeanor, and violators can face fines. In addition, retailers can also have their license from the state to sell tobacco products revoked or must pay additional penalties.
Many stores that did not sell to minors use the scanning system for their driver’s licenses that automatically tells the clerk that the sale is prohibited. We encourage more stores to employ this system and use it so that underaged individuals cannot access these products.
The Greenville Police Department is committed to the safety and health of our local youth. By conducting these operations, we aim to discourage businesses from violating the law and selling products to underaged individuals. The Greenville Police Department will continue to work similar functions to ensure compliance with state laws. The Department also urges parents and guardians to talk to their children about the dangers of tobacco and vape use. We all are responsible for protecting the health and well-being of our community’s youth.