In 2021, Tennessee law made it illegal to sell tobacco and e-cigarettes to anyone under 21. In order to enforce the regulations, Hendersonville police went to eight stores on Monday to check whether the stores were selling electronic cigarettes and other products to minors.
According to detectives, three of the eight stores sold e-cigarette products to the minor. The fourth store sells alcohol to the minor. It is understood that the clerk who sold to minors was cited as a misdemeanor.
New Shackle Island Road Market was rejected by the clerk when a minor tried to illegally buy e-cigarettes.
The clerk Alazab said that he always requires minors to provide identification.
“You have to do this, you are selling nicotine products like e-cigarettes, just like you are selling a pack of cigarettes,” Alazab said. “I mean it’s a thing you have to be at least 21 years old to buy that kind of thing.”
Alazab said that minors often try to buy e-cigarette products in front of his counter. He said he rejected them, but he knew they could get it elsewhere.
“There are indeed many children who come in and want to buy it. After being rejected by me, they went elsewhere,” Alazab said. “They always have a way to get it from others. Like you said, 50% of people in this city are selling it, and they don’t care about selling it to children.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a single cartridge in an e-cigarette contains as much nicotine as an entire pack of regular cigarettes.
These products are highly addictive and can harm the brains of teenagers-this is why Hendersonville police often conduct compliance checks throughout the city.
“We go out to enforce these laws because we don’t want them to have problems in the future. There are many children who use these e-cigarette products, ” said Sergeant Chris Gagnon. “We will continue to conduct these compliance checks and arrest minors when they sell these things. If a store sells e-cigarettes to the point where we need to close it, we will close that store.”
In an unrelated operation, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department conducted a similar compliance inspection a few days ago.
Sheriff John Myers told the news that a minor who worked with a detective entered 10 stores, half of which were sold to minors by the store clerk.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, in the past two years, e-cigarettes among middle school students have increased by 218%, and e-cigarettes among high school students have increased by 135%.
Lawrence County Sheriff John Myers said that e-cigarettes and related products sold with them are a big problem for schools.
Like the Hendersonville police, Sheriff Myers sent a strong message to stores that will continue to sell to underage customers.
“It’s very simple. If you do this, we will catch you. If we catch you, we will put you in jail. It’s that simple.”