Evanston Police cite three stores for underage tobacco sale

Jia You, Assistant City Editor

A recent tobacco compliance check conducted by the Evanston Police Department found three retail stores sold cigarettes to minors, according to a news release.

EPD’s juvenile bureau checked the city’s 40 establishments licensed to sell cigarettes. A teen sent by the bureau entered each store and attempted to purchase cigarettes from the merchant while officers monitored the transaction. Officers found Spex Mart Inc., 1235 Dodge Ave.; Jewel-Osco, 2485 Howard St.; and 7-Eleven, 2536 Ewing Ave., sold cigarettes to the minor without asking for age verification.

EPD issued city ordinance violation tickets to the stores, representatives for which are scheduled to appear at an administrative hearing March 19.

Jewel-Osco spokeswoman Karen May said the grocer’s tobacco policy requires staff to card customers who appear 30 and younger. In the incident cited by EPD, an employee initially refused the sale after requesting the customer’s ID but inadvertently handed the cigarettes to the customer when returning the ID.

The store will require the employee to re-sign its tobacco policy and be retrained, May said. She did not say whether the store had been cited for similar violations previously.

The other two stores could not be reached for comment.

— Jia You