Harford County Health Department Announces Tobacco Control Program Partnership with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and Omicron Psi Sigma

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The Harford County Health Department’s Tobacco Control Program is pleased to announce a collaborative partnership with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and Omicron Psi Sigma Chapter of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity (Omicron Psi Sigma). This partnership will provide tobacco sales education, outreach and enforcement, while continuing the dedication to reducing youth and young adult (under 21) access to tobacco products.

Since October 1, 2019, the minimum sales age for all tobacco products in Maryland is 21. This includes sales of all electronic smoking devices—e-cigarettes, vapes, pod devices such as JUUL®, e-liquids, and component parts and accessories. The duties of the partners include providing education and outreach to local retailers by Omicron Psi Sigma and the continuation of Tobacco Sales Enforcement by the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. Tobacco Sales Enforcement includes unannounced, routine and complaint-based inspections of tobacco retailers, with the primary focus for compliance with Tobacco21.

Wendy T. Kanely, Tobacco Prevention Coordinator, states: “Interagency collaborations are paramount to the future success of our community. We are very thankful for the dedication our partners have to preventing tobacco use amongst our youth.”

Tobacco retailers are encouraged to cooperate with enforcement and education staff and to comply with all Tobacco laws including Tobacco 21. Tobacco laws, resources and free online retailor training can be accessed at www.NoTobaccoSalesToMinors.com

These initiatives shall remain in effect until June 30, 2022.

Funding supported by Maryland’s Cigarette Restitution Fund (CRF): In 1999 the MGA announced a $1 billion comprehensive plan to use tobacco settlement funds to conquer cancer and other tobacco-related diseases. The CRF supports cancer research, prevention and care; smoking prevention and cessation programs; substance abuse programs; tobacco farmers’ crop conversion; and healthcare for those without adequate insurance coverage. https://health.maryland.gov/phpa/crfp/Pages/home.aspx

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