INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — It's getting harder for teens to illegally buy tobacco products.
State excise police have been using undercover teenagers to test whether shopkeepers are following cigarette sales laws. The Tobacco Retailer Inspection Program is a joint program between excise police officers and the Indiana Prevention Resource Center at Indiana University. This year, only 5 percent of the stores they targeted would sell to someone under 18. That's down from 40 percent when they started investigating in 2000.
Trained undercover teens will enter a store during an inspection and try to buy a tobacco product. The teens don't carry ID and will just tell the clerk their actual age if asked. An undercover police officer will issue a citation of up to $1,000 on the spot if the sale goes through.