From Newton’s Health and Human Services Department…

Tobacco compliance checks were conducted at nine Newton retail establishments this week resulting in two violations for selling tobacco to a minor.

The two places that sold cigarettes were: 128 Gas, 8 Circumferential Highway, and Auburndale Discount Wine & Spirits, 2101 Commonwealth Ave. Each received a ticket and fine.

A tobacco compliance check is when a 15.5 to 17 year-old youth works with an adult enforcement agent to attempt to purchase cigarettes. If the store clerk does not sell to the minor, the youth leaves the store and nothing happens. If the clerk sells to the minor, the youth leaves the store and sends the adult in to issue the violation notice and fine.

“Selling cigarettes to kids is a violation of our ordinances that we take very seriously,” said Dori Zaleznik, MD, Newton’s Commissioner of Health and Human Services. “We know how hard it is for anyone to quit smoking, and the best thing is never to start. We want to do everything we can to prevent kids from starting to smoke.”

“I commend the stores that did not sell to the minor and hope they will keep up the good work,”
Zaleznik added.

The seven stores where the clerk did not sell to the minor are:
CVS, 241 Needham St.
Sunoco, 325 Boylston St.
Newton Centre Gulf, 732 Beacon St.
Murray’s Liquors, 747 Beacon St.
Centre Wine & Spirits, 1247 Centre St.
Newton Centre Shell, 1365 Centre St.
Shaws, 2040 Commonwealth Ave

Due to a cut in grant funding that was recently restored, this is the first time since 2009 that tobacco compliance checks have been conducted in Newton. The Newton Health and Human Services Department is collaborating with the health departments in Arlington, Belmont, Brookline and Watertown and the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program on a variety of tobacco prevention efforts.

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