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Stores urged to sell tobacco with caution

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POSTED: June 4, 2010 10:14 a.m.
ATLANTA — In an effort to stop the sale of tobacco products to underage youth, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities has partnered with Synar to launch an aggressive new campaign that reminds retailers it’s against the law to sell tobacco products to youth under the age of 18. DBHDD’s campaign runs through June 12.
DBHDD contributed $130,000 to the campaign, which features paid ads on social media sites like Facebook and 30-second television spots on WSBTV, WAGA and Comcast Cable. Additionally, 30- second ads will run in theatres all over Georgia through National Cinemedia and through radio ads with the GA News Network Channel. There will also be 15-second radio spots aired on WSB AM and Dave FM.  
“Vigilant retailers play a key role in keeping tobacco products out of the hands of minors, which curtails nicotine addiction and major health risks,” said Cassandra Price, director of DBHDD’s Division of Addictive Diseases. “We want the community to be a partner with us as we continue our efforts to deter youth from starting an addiction which can be difficult to break. We want retailers to ask for proper ID.”
In March, Synar released its annual report revealing more than 90 percent of Georgia retailers refused to sell tobacco to minors, making Georgia one of the best states for compliance with federal law. DBHDD found that Georgia retailers, with a violation rate of just 9.5 percent, are 10.5 percentage points below the national limit of 20 percent. The ads will focus on holding retailers accountable for asking patrons for ID before approving the sale of tobacco products.
 

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