×

MPD pledges to reduce youth tobacco sales

xThe Marshalltown Police Department has pledged to keep tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products out of the hands of Marshalltown youth.

Marshalltown Police Department officers will conduct compliance checks on local establishments as part of the I-PLEDGE program.

Underage customers, under the supervision of law enforcement officials, will enter establishments and attempt to buy tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products. Clerks who make the illegal sale will be cited on the spot.

The promise is courtesy of I-PLEDGE, a program that educates retailers and enforces state tobacco, vapor and alternative nicotine laws. The program is a partnership with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division

Since the program’s inception in 2000, the tobacco compliance rate in Iowa has grown to 91 percent.

I-PLEDGE places emphasis on retailer training. Clerks who successfully complete an online training course and then pass an exam will become I-PLEDGE certified.

The completion of the course will allow a retail establishment to use an affirmative defense against a civil penalty if the certified clerk makes an illegal sale.

The retailer training is a way for clerks to prepare to refuse the sale of illegal tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor product. The training also assists retailers in maintaining a compliant and responsible establishment.

Criminal penalties for selling tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products to a minor include a $100 fine for a first offense, a $250 fine for a second offense and a $500 fine for a third and subsequent offenses. However, the intention of the program is to educate clerks and maintain a compliant retail environment in Marshalltown.

To take the I-PLEDGE training or search certification records go to https://abd.iowa.gov/.