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Tobacco Laws Rarely Enforced: There are 1,238...

<i> Times Wire Services</i>

Tobacco Laws Rarely Enforced: There are 1,238 state laws regulating the sale and marketing of tobacco products, although they are rarely enforced, according to a government report. One important finding of the report, said Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, is that “penalties for illegal sale to those under 18 are often minuscule, even if they are enforced.” Although all 50 states and the District of Columbia ban the sale of tobacco products to people under 18, minors have almost unhindered access, the report says. It cites studies that found adolescents can buy tobacco products from vending machines 96% of the time and from retail stores 73% of the time.


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