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New tobacco shop near Carson High raises questions about tobacco laws


Carson City Smoke N Vape recently opened in a mall just north of Carson High School.

A new vape and tobacco store at a mall north of Carson High School’s baseball field has raised questions about regulations regarding nicotine products and schools.

“I bring my daughter to school in the morning and here she is,” said Carson City resident Jerome Lala. “This is not the right place for a vape shop.”

Lala said he had lived in the area for 40 years and graduated from Carson High in 1985. He said he was worried about his two children, who go to high school and frequent shopping malls, as well as other children.

“Honestly, I don’t want kids to use it,” he said.

Carson City Smoke N Vape is located at 1621 E. William Street near Port of Subs and Yogurt Beach. The mall is located in a general commercial zoning area where tobacco shops are allowed. There are no requirements in Carson City to separate tobacco shops and schools.

Across the street from the new store, further north is a Chevron gas station that also sells cigarettes and some vaping products.

A spokesperson for Carson City Smoke N Vape told Appeal that the store has never sold items to minors and checks IDs first when a customer enters. They said they got a city business license and a Nevada tobacco license and did everything right, no problem.

Unlike liquor licenses, which are overseen by Carson City, tobacco licenses are handled by the state, specifically the Nevada Internal Revenue Service. The Nevada Attorney General’s Office handles enforcement and compliance reviews.

“There is no state law in the state of Nevada that prohibits the issuance of a tobacco license to a business located near a school,” said John Sadler, director of communications for the office of Nevada AG.

Sadler described the enforcement of tobacco laws for underage users.

“Our office regularly conducts random, unannounced inspections of businesses selling tobacco/nicotine products to ensure that said businesses comply with the age restrictions on the sale of these products,” he said.

He said that businesses are subject to inspection at least once every three years and that “our employees carry out inspections all year round.”

“Clerks who sell tobacco products to underage customers receive a tort and a $100 fine for a first violation, which increases to $250 for a second violation and $500 for a third or subsequent violation within 24 months,” Sadler said. . “Violators who do not perform advanced age verification through scanning or other automated technologies are also subject to an additional $100 fine.

“In addition to the penalties imposed on the clerk, a warning is issued to the business licensee for the first and second violations. For a third violation within 24 months on the same premises, the licensee receives a $500 civil penalty. The civil penalty increases to $2,500 for subsequent violations.”

Sadler said the AG office is also involved in training retailers.

“After any check, our employees immediately notify violators,” he said. “Retail employees who violate the rules are issued a copy of the civil wrong, as well as a copy of the relevant state law and information about the Nevada online merchant education program.”

This sales education program can be accessed online at answertobacconv.com.

Lala said he was more worried about vaping than cigarettes.

“The kids love it,” he said, “the flavors and all that. Cigarettes stink. Parents don’t smell the vape.”

Lala said he just wants the students to be protected.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a 2020 study found that young people who start smoking regularly between the ages of 18 and 20 have a higher chance of becoming addicted to nicotine and are harder to kick than those who start smoking. at 21. or older.

In 2019, changes in US law raised the federal minimum age for the sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it is now illegal for any retailer in the U.S. to sell cigarettes, cigars, or e-cigarettes and e-cigarettes. – fluids for persons under 21 years of age. “The new federal minimum selling age applies to all retailers and individuals without exception,” the FDA’s website says. For more information about Nevada tobacco licensing and enforcement, see “Hot Topics” on ag.nv.gov.

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