Convenient stores sell Tobacco to minors in Webster

Phillip Solari
Staff Writer

It’s easy to notice that several of the students smoking on the corners outside of school property are not always 18 years old.

It is becoming more common for convenient stores and tobacco stores to sell tobacco products without even asking for ID. Occasionally stores will ask for ID but not even look at the birthdate on the card.

The ECHO sent 18 year old staff member, Sebastian Sabev to nine convenient stores that sold tobacco products.

The stores that didn’t I.D. 18 year old ECHO staff member, Sabev included Conoco on Manchester, BP on Elm, and Phillips 66 on Big Bend. The convenient stores that did I.D. were; Schnucks on Big Bend, QT on Big Bend, Shell on Watson, QT on Watson, Seven Eleven on Watson, and Walgreens on Elm.

It is a Federal Regulation that stores MUST ask for photo I.D. if the buyer looks under the age of 27, according to CFR title 21 part 1140 subtitle B, “Verify the age of purchasers of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco who are under the age of 27 by means of photographic identification that contains the bearer’s date of birth (21 CFR 1140.14(b)).”

Even though Sabev is 18, Regardless to these posters put up all around the store, employees at Conoco, BP and Phillips 66 still didn’t even act concerned with Sebastian’s age.

According to the American Lung Association’s website, Missouri failed every category on Missouri’s report card, which included; Tobacco Prevention, Smoke free Air, Cigarette tax, and Cessation. Missouri was one of the seven states that failed every one of these categories. Convenient stores selling without asking for I.D. certainly reflects Missouri failing the Tobacco prevention category.

Because of the convenient stores around Webster and Missouri that sell to minors, it will be difficult for Missouri to pass the “Tobacco Prevention” and “Smoke free air” categories. It won’t be until the State of Missouri comes together and starts cracking down on I.D.s when buying tobacco and enforcing all of the tobacco laws, that Missouri will start to pass categories on the American Lung Association’s report card.

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