SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The Sioux City Police have been issuing more fines to stores this year for selling tobacco products to underage customers.
This time of the year is when the Sioux City Police Department (SCPD) performs compliance checks on businesses to see if they are checking customer IDs when purchasing products that contain nicotine.
“These compliance checks are something that we do yearly because it’s important to us that this law is being enforced and that people are doing what they should be doing ensuring that these nicotine products stay out of the hands of people that are underage,” said Sergeant Jeremy McClure of the SCPD.
State law says that customers under 21 are not allowed to purchase any tobacco products and businesses that fail to enforce this could either be issued a $200 fine or lose their license.
“We began our compliance checks this year in December and they ran for three months for the tobacco and vape products. We had 105 businesses that we checked and we had 23 that had violations,” said Sgt. McClure.
According to McClure, the department saw an increase in compliance violations in 2021 compared to last year.
For the SCPD, these inspections are not so that law enforcement can issue citations, but to make sure businesses are doing their part.
“Our biggest effort here is just to make sure that people are in compliance. We don’t want any violations and we’re hoping that people are just compliant with the law, checking IDs, and keeping these products away from people that shouldn’t have them,” said Sgt. McClure.