Two Evanston businesses violate tobacco compliance check

David Fishman, Assistant City Editor

Two Evanston businesses failed to pass a tobacco compliance check conducted to prevent underrage sales, police said Friday.

The businesses cited were Davis Pantry, 927 Davis St., and Open Pantry, 821 Dempster Street. Evanston police Cmdr. Joseph Dugan said in a news release that compliance checks are usually conducted three times a year to prevent businesses from selling tobacco to anyone under 21.

During Thursday’s tobacco check, individuals aged 16 to 19 entered 33 establishments and attempted to purchase tobacco products, Dugan said. Two establishments sold the teens products without checking proper identification and were cited for an underage sale.

The businesses could be fined $200 to $500 for each offense and have their license revoked, suspended or not renewed by the health director.

In 2014, City Council voted unanimously to make it illegal for anyone under 21 to buy tobacco or liquid nicotine products. Officials told The Daily after the ordinance passed that it would help prevent potential health problems caused by tobacco products.

Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 annual deaths in the U.S., according to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The overwhelming concern is for the health of our young people,” Ald. Judy Fiske (1st) told The Daily in 2014.

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