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The Scott County Sheriff’s Office is making a continued commitment to keep tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products out of the hands of area youth.

Through the I-PLEDGE program, a partnership with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, officers educate local retailers and enforce Iowa’s tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor product laws.

Since the program’s inception in 2000, the statewide tobacco compliance rate has grown to 91 percent.

The emphasis is on retailer training. Clerks complete an online training course and pass an exam to become I-PLEDGE certified. 

“I-PLEDGE’s retailer training is a great way for clerks to prepare themselves to refuse illegal tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor product sales,” Scott County Sheriff's Capt. Joe Caffery said in a news release. “The training also assists retailers to ensure they maintain a compliant and responsible establishment.”

Deputies also conduct compliance checks on local establishments, working with underage customers who enter stores and attempt to buy tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products. Clerks who make the illegal sale are cited.

Criminal penalties for selling tobacco, alternative nicotine and vapor products to a minor include a $100 fine for a first offense, a $250 fine for a second offense and a $500 fine for third and subsequent offenses.

Visit abd.iowa.gov to take the I-PLEDGE training or search certification records.

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