The inspections were done between October and December 2022.
FREDERICK, MD – Between October and December 2022, the Frederick County Health Department’s Tobacco Merchant Sales Compliance Initiative conducted 45 tobacco sales compliance inspections. Of the 45 businesses inspected, 38 passed and 7 were issued civil citations for non-compliance with state law.
During the same time period, alcohol merchant compliance checks were conducted. Of the 21 alcohol businesses inspected, 6 sold alcohol to the underage buyers. These violations were referred to the Frederick County Liquor Board.
The Frederick County Health Department’s (FCHD) Merchant Sales Compliance Initiative aims to reduce youth access to alcohol and tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices, by conducting random merchant compliance checks of businesses located in Frederick County. The program goal is to protect public health and promote health and wellness among our youth. Funding for these activities is provided by the Maryland Department of Health.
Environmental strategies, including policy and enforcement efforts, have been identified as effective strategies to prevent the misuse of tobacco and alcohol by youth, according to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. A compliance check is a tool to identify alcohol and tobacco retail establishments that sell alcohol and tobacco products, including e-cigarette products, to individuals under the age of 21. Compliance checks are effective in reducing retail access to these products.
In Frederick County, underage individuals assist in the execution of both alcohol and tobacco merchant compliance checks. All underage individuals possess their valid state-issued driver’s license or identification card, which is provided to every merchant who asks for identification. If the merchant asks the individual their age, the individual is required to reply truthfully. All underage individuals are accompanied and observed by a plainclothes officer.
For more information about the Frederick County Health Department Merchant Sales Compliance Initiative, call 301-600-1755 or visit: https://health.frederickcountymd.gov/557/Merchant-Compliance-Initiative.