April 15, 2024

East Providence police and Prevention Coalition recognize compliant retailers

Posted

East Providence, RI – The East Providence Police Department in partnership with the East Providence Prevention Coalition (EPPC), has conducted a series of tobacco compliance checks to ensure that retailers are following state and federal laws regarding the sale of tobacco products, particularly Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDs)/ vaping products, to minors. A total of 18 unannounced compliance inspections were conducted with 10 establishments being found to be in compliance with the state regulations of not selling to underage patrons, demonstrating their commitment to preventing underage tobacco use.

The East Providence Police Dept. will continue these checks as there are more than 40 retailers who sell these products at their establishment.

During the compliance checks, law enforcement officers visited more than a dozen retail establishments in East Providence and observed whether they were following the law by checking for identification and refusing to sell tobacco/vaping products to anyone under the age of 21. The 10 establishments that passed both of the compliance checks were found to be in full compliance with local, state and federal laws, and their responsible actions deserve recognition.

Establishments that passed these recent compliance checks are:
• Willet Farms – 185 Willet Ave. Riverside
• Riverside Food Mart – 548 Willet Ave. Riverside
• Royal Food Mart – 732 Willet Ave. Riverside
• Mobil Mart – 973 Willet Ave. Riverside
• Gulf – 970 Willet Ave. Riverside
• Riverside Market – 267 Willet Ave. Riverside
• Seasons Corner Market – 2200 Pawtucket Ave. East Providence
• Rumford Food Mart – 1246 Pawtucket Ave. Rumford
• Freeway Gas – 250 Newport Ave. Rumford
• Vaporetti Vapor – 50 Newport Ave. Rumford

The East Providence Prevention Coalition encourages residents to support these responsible businesses. By doing so, residents can help ensure that retailers prioritize responsible practices and protect the health and well-being of our community’s youth.

Unfortunately, the establishments that did not pass the compliance checks were found to be in violation of local, state, and federal laws, regarding the sale of tobacco products to minors. The EPPC and local law enforcement agencies take these violations seriously and will be taking appropriate enforcement action against these businesses.

“While we are pleased to report that many establishments passed the compliance checks and commend them for their commitment to preventing underage tobacco use, we are also very concerned about the 40 percent failure rate found in both rounds of inspections,” Director of the EPPC said Madeline Marlow said.

Additionally, during the compliance checks, law enforcement officers confiscated $13,000 worth of prohibited flavored Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDs)/vaping devices from several local businesses.

“Working together with the East Providence Prevention Coalition, we have made great strides in our efforts to prevent underage tobacco use,” East Providence Police Sergeant Stephen Rodrigues said. We take violations of these laws seriously and will be taking appropriate enforcement action against the businesses that failed to comply.”

The East Providence Prevention Coalition will continue to work with local law enforcement agencies to conduct tobacco compliance checks in an effort to reduce underage tobacco use. We hope that the recognition given to the 10 establishments that passed these checks will inspire other retailers to prioritize responsible practices and protect the health of our community’s youth. We also urge all retailers to comply with state and federal laws regarding the sale of tobacco products to minors and to take their responsibility to prevent underage tobacco use seriously.

Contact the East Providence Prevention Coalition at eppc@eastprovidenceri.gov  or 401-435-7500 x 11290 for more information on compliance checks, education and training for retailers, reporting violations, or information about the Coalition.

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