On July 25, the Wichita Mountains Prevention Network (WMPN) partnered with Jackson County Tobacco Education Committee (JCTEC) and Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Student Volunteers to conduct 15 tobacco Reward Reminder Visits in Jackson County.
Of the 15 done in Jackson County, 14 did not sell tobacco to the minors. This is a compliance rate of 93 percent. Reward Reminder Visits are designed to commend clerks and retailers who refuse to sell tobacco products to minors.
The researched-based outreach program encourages retailers to comply with Oklahoma’s statutes making it illegal to sell any tobacco products to minors.
Every year tobacco kills over 440,000 people in the US. In order for the tobacco industry to stay in business it has to attract young people to become replacement smokers. Nearly 90 percent of adult tobacco users start in their teens.
During Reward Reminder Visits, teams of adults and underage youth visit retail establishments where youth attempt to purchase tobacco products. Those who sell will receive a reminder that clerks who sell tobacco products to minors face a misdemeanor charge along with a $200 fine. The clerk is also reminded to ID youth before completing future sales.
Clerks who do not sell will be rewarded for their actions. All the store clerks who did not sell on July 25, along with others in neighboring counties, are entered into a drawing for a $25 American Express gift card. The clerk who is drawn as the winner of the gift card will be determined at the end of September.
“Thank you, Jackson County clerks, for not selling tobacco to minors,” said Kim Booker, prevention specialist for WMPN.
If you would like more information pertaining to the Reward and Reminder Visits, please contact Kim Booker at the Wichita Mountains Prevention Network – Region 11 Prevention Coordinator at (580) 355-5246.