5 Ottawa places sold tobacco to minors

Five Ottawa County establishments sold tobacco to minors during a sting operation, according to the health department.

Fifty-four retailers were checked during the “No Cigs for Our Kids” campaign.

Officials from the sheriff’s department, Holland Department of Public Safety and Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Department partnered in the operation in June. The quarterly compliance checks are performed to ensure stores do not sell tobacco to those under 18 years of age.

Woman smoking a cigarette

Woman smoking a cigarette

An underage decoy was used in the operation that busted:

* The Reef Party Store in Spring Lake
* JD’s Shoreline Super Stop
* Quality Car Wash in Eastown Holland
* 7-11 in Zeeland
* Anchor Party Store in Holland

National data shows that 90% of current adult smokers started smoking before the age of 19, according to a news release.

In Ottawa County, 58% of teens under 18 say tobacco products are very easy, or sort of easy, to get.

Among teens who ever smoked, a third report they did so for the first time before age 13.

A study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine reveals that 10% of youth who become hooked on cigarettes are addicted within two days of first inhaling from a cigarette, and 25% are addicted within a month.

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