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Local

Rock Falls gets grant to fight youth tobacco use

ROCK FALLS – The city will receive a state grant for its efforts to reduce youth access to tobacco.

The $1,430 award from the Illinois Liquor Control Commission will be used to establish a comprehensive educational and enforcement program addressing minimum-age tobacco laws.

The state Liquor Control Commission is the lead agency in combating the sale of tobacco products to minors. The commission annually awards $1 million in grants to communities that are willing to implement its enforcement program.

Participating communities are required to educate tobacco retailers. To help in their efforts, the businesses will receive the commission’s educational kit, which includes a review of the state’s minimum-age tobacco laws, required signage and training guides for employees.

Three compliance checks will be made at each of the businesses. Participating tobacco retailers average more than 90 percent compliance. Illinois ranked seventh nationwide in Synar tobacco retailer compliance rates.

The Synar Amendment requires states to have laws in place prohibiting the sale and distribution of tobacco products to youth under the age of 18, and to enforce the laws effectively. An agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services oversees implementation of the amendment.

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