Images of Kitsap County
Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: February 19, 2016
Contact: Laura Hyde, Kitsap County Prevention Coordinator
(360) 337-4879 or lhyde@co.kitsap.wa.us
No: 2016-011

Tobacco sales to minors down in Kitsap
Washington state levels still on the rise

(Port Orchard, WA) - Illegal tobacco sales to minors in Kitsap County were down in 2015, the second year in a row, bucking a Washington state trend that has illegal sales to minors at the highest level since 1997. In 2015, the Kitsap County rate dropped to 13.3 percent while the state rate increased, with 17.1 percent of tobacco retailers selling to minors.

Nearly nine out of 10 people who smoke start by age 18, and 104,000 Washington youth alive today will die prematurely from a disease caused by smoking.

“We are proud of the efforts of our Substance Abuse Prevention Coalitions and participating youth! This dramatic change to our environment inspires us to continue our collaboration supporting a healthy substance free community,” said Laura Hyde, Prevention Coordinator of the Kitsap County Substance Abuse Prevention Program in the Department of Human Services.

Kitsap County Substance Abuse Prevention Services work to reduce youth tobacco usage in partnership with the Bremerton, North Kitsap and South

Kitsap Substance Abuse Prevention Coalitions. These prevention coalitions share a common goal to prevent youth substance abuse through the creation of a framework of resources, support, and collaborative partnerships. The coalitions reach out to communities throughout the county to provide opportunities for youth to be in safe and substance-free environments.

Activities of the coalitions include:
• Coordinating community efforts to reduce youth substance abuse
• Organizing youth substance abuse prevention and positive youth developments events
• Alcohol and marijuana retailer education
• Leadership skill development and mentoring opportunities for youth
• Public education about substance abuse and other prevention topics

The Washington State Department of Health released its 2015 figures Feb. 17, reporting on the increase in illegal tobacco sales to minors, available at www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/2016NewsReleases/16014SynarReportNewsRelease. The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board conducts compliance checks at local retail businesses. Working with local law enforcement, underage teens try to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products at randomly selected retailers. Clerks who sell tobacco to minors can be fined up to $100. Retail owners may be fined up to $1,500 and have their license revoked for up to five years.

For more information on Kitsap County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalitions, visit www.kitsapgov.com/hs/substanceabuse/substanceabuseprevention.htm or contact Laura Hyde at (360) 337-4879, lhyde@co.kitsap.wa.us.

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Last Updated:  February 19, 2016