The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

October 23, 2013

Pledge highlights tobacco laws

Herald Staff Report
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — The Clinton County Sheriff’s office has partnered with the Iowa Pledge program to educate local retailers about Iowa’s tobacco laws.

The Iowa Pledge, I-Pledge, is a partnership with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Division to educate local retailers and to enforce Iowa’s tobacco laws.

Clerks who successfully complete an online training program and pass an exam will be I-Pledge certified and the retail establishment will receive an affirmative defense against a civil penalty if the certified clerk makes an illegal sale.

To take the training or search I-Pledge certification records, go to http://ipocp.iowaabd.com:8080/portal.

“The I-Pledge retailer training program is a great way for clerks to prepare themselves to refuse illegal tobacco sales,” Sheriff Rick Lincoln said. “The training will help retailers maintain a compliant and responsible establishment.”

Also as a part of the I-Pledge program, deputies will conduct compliance checks on local establishments. Underage customers, under the supervision of law enforcement officials, will enter establishments and attempt to buy tobacco products. Clerks who make the illegal sale will be cited.

Criminal penalties for selling tobacco 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.

“By partnering with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Division, we hope to educate clerks and maintain a compliant retail environment in our community,” Lincoln said. “Moreover, we pledge to kelp keep tobacco out of the hands of Iowa’s youth.”