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Oakland County retailers sold no tobacco products to minors during recent undercover inspections, a first for the county.

“Our prevention efforts are keeping tobacco out of the hands of our children,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said Monday in a statement. “Not only does it take our partners in the undercover inspections, but also the cooperation of our retailers. Kudos to both for successfully keeping these harmful products away from minors.”

The annual inspections were held recently as part of the federally mandated Synar Amendment that passed in July 1992 requiring states to conduct random, unannounced tests at retailers selling tobacco products, officials said. Youth volunteers attempted to purchase the products from various gas stations, grocery stores, convenience stores, bars and tobacco retail shops throughout the county.

The inspections were put together by the Oakland County Health Division, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and local substance abuse coalitions.

“Our community coalitions, local law enforcement, and the health division should be proud that we lead the state of Michigan in this accomplishment,” Health Division manager/health officer Kathy Forzley said in a statement. “Every day, 3,800 kids smoke a cigarette for the first time, and many of them become regular smokers by age 18. Tobacco use starts primarily during adolescence and ease of access of these products may contribute to initial use.”

This year’s perfect score follows previous years of successful inspections with low rates of tobacco sales to minors, officials said. For up-to-date public health information, go to www.oakgov.com/health, find Public Health Oakland on Facebook or on twitter @publichealthOC.

HFournier@detroitnews.com

(313) 223-4616

@HollyPFournier

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