With a new tobacco enforcement officer on the streets, those who sell tobacco and vaping products to minors are now under tighter scrutiny.
The Columbia/Boone County Public Health & Human Services Department hired its first tobacco enforcement and education officer, Public Health Promotion Supervisor Michelle Shikles confirmed Thursday.
Julie Sears, who was hired this week, will conduct compliance checks in Columbia, ensuring that local businesses are not selling tobacco or vaping products to anyone under the age of 21, in line with city ordinances.
The compliance process includes sending an underage person into a business in an attempt to illegally buy tobacco or vaping products, Shikles confirmed.
In case of a violation, the offending business will receive a summons and fines between $200 and $1,000.'
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