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December 16, 2011 > 2011 Tobacco Decoy Operation

2011 Tobacco Decoy Operation

Submitted By Officer Trish Young-Orth, Milpitas PD

On December 1, 2011, the Milpitas Police Department conducted a retail tobacco sales decoy operation to ensure tobacco retailers were in compliance with California tobacco sales laws. California Penal Code section 308(a)(1) prohibits the sale of tobacco products and tobacco paraphernalia to anyone under the age of 18. Storeowners and/or clerks who sell tobacco products to minors in violation of tobacco laws may be subject to citation, criminal prosecution, and civil penalties. Retailers may also have their City of Milpitas business license suspended or revoked for violation of tobacco laws.

The tobacco decoy operation was funded by a grant from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. The tobacco decoy operation consisted of a minor who attempted to purchase cigarettes at 10 retail locations throughout the City of Milpitas. The minor was under direct observation and supervision of a Milpitas Police Officer at all times. The Milpitas Police Department is delighted to report that each of the contacted retail locations refused to sell tobacco products to the minor and complied with all applicable laws and ordinances.

Each of the retailers involved in the operation were contacted and provided with educational materials and information on how to maintain compliance with applicable laws. Retailers were instructed in the proper methods to verify the age of customers and applicable tobacco laws.

Anyone with any information regarding retailers in violation of tobacco laws should contact the Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400. Information can be given anonymously by calling (408) 586-2500, or via the Milpitas Police Department website at:

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