22 May 2008

Many Marshall Islands stores selling tobacco products to minors

9:41 am on 22 May 2008

Marshall Islands officials attempting to reduce illegal sales of cigarettes and chewing tobacco to minors say that a survey of local stores revealed that 93 percent of 129 stores illegally sold tobacco products to youths under 18.

The survey targeted small and medium-sized stores in the two urban centres, Majuro and Ebeye, where about 70 percent of the country¹s 53,000 people live.

Ben Graham, the coordinator of the unannounced inspections, says the survey results are disturbing.

He says on Ebeye, all 29 stores checked sold to teenagers, while in Majuro 91 of

the 100 stores inspected, illegally sold tobacco products to youngsters.

He says not one of the 129 stores asked for identification from the teenagers.