The Norman Transcript

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April 3, 2013

Combating tobacco sales to youth

NORMAN — Several organizations partnered together recently to conduct checks at Norman retailers who sell tobacco products. The groups reported that all retailers that were checked, except one, refused to sell tobacco to underage youth.

During the checks, the retailers asked for ID and refused the sale of tobacco to the youth participating.

The Southwest Prevention Center at the University of Oklahoma University OUtreach partnered with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services as one of Oklahoma’s 17 Regional Prevention Coordinators.

RPC Region 8 serves Cleveland and McClain counties in reducing tobacco availability to youth.

“As the Region 8 Regional Prevention Coordinator, our primary goal is to engage community members, local organizations, public agencies, youth and the media to promote community wellness,” said Charlene Shreder, Region 8 prevention coordinator.

Shreder said in the past month, the Region 8 team conducted Reward Reminder Visits in Cleveland County. Local adults and youth teams visited retailers in the county as part of the program.

“The purpose of the Reward Reminder Visits program is to educate, influence and inform retailers, media and others about the problem of youth access to tobacco products,” Shreder said. “If clerks refuse to sell tobacco, then they earn recognition and incentives for doing the right thing.”

Reminders are given out for failing to check for age or allowing illegal sales. Illegal sales carry the possibility of administrative or civil fines.

For more information, contact Charlene Shreder by email at cshreder@ou.edu or phone at 325-4282.

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