Rock Rapids, Iowa — The latest sweep of Lyon County tobacco retailers was a success, according to law enforcement, and the results were somewhat surprising.
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports they have taken a pledge to keep tobacco out of the hands of Lyon County youth. It’s called the Iowa Pledge — or I-Pledge — and it’s a partnership with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) to educate local retailers and to enforce Iowa’s tobacco laws. The I-Pledge Program has helped increase statewide tobacco compliance to a rate of 93% since it began in 2000.
We talked to Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep who tells us how they check for compliance.
Clerks who successfully complete an online training program and pass an exam will be I-Pledge Certified and the retail establishment will receive an affirmative defense against a civil penalty if the certified clerk makes an illegal sale.
Vander Stoep says the I-Pledge Retailer Training Program is a great way for clerks to prepare themselves to refuse illegal tobacco sales. He says the training will help retailers maintain a compliant and responsible establishment.
He says that he’s happy to report 100 percent compliance among Lyon County retailers this year, and says that’s the first time that’s happened in over ten years.
The sheriff says that by partnering with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, they hope to educate clerks and maintain a compliant retail environment in the county. He says he and his deputies pledge to help keep tobacco out of the hands of youth.
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