The Iowa City Police Department conducted tobacco sales law compliance checks Jan. 10-12, 2023, at the 56 businesses open for business and licensed to sell tobacco, alternative nicotine, or vapor products. Working with plainclothes officers, underage persons entered these businesses and attempted to illegally purchase these products. Forty-seven businesses refused to sell tobacco or other nicotine or vapor products to the underage buyers. 

Nine businesses checked by police sold to the underage buyers. The businesses that failed the compliance checks were:

  • Almost Paradise – 355 S. Linn St.
  • Hy-Vee – 812 S. First Ave.
  • Hy-Vee Gas – 1103 N. Dodge St.
  • Casey’s General Store – 204 N. Dubuque St.
  • Delimart – 2410 Mormon Trek Blvd.
  • Hawkeye Convenience – 2875 Commerce Drive
  • City Liquor – 425 S. Gilbert St.
  • Hawkeye Smoke & Liquor – 108 E. College St.
  • Fast Break – 2580 Naples Ave.

The employees who sold tobacco products to the underage buyers were each charged with, Employee Providing Tobacco Products, Vapor, or Cigarettes to Anyone Under 21 Years of Age.  An employee convicted of selling tobacco products to persons under age 21 years of age is guilty of a simple misdemeanor, punishable with a $135 fine for the first offense. Additionally, the violations may result in civil penalties against the tobacco licenses.

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Date of publication

Wednesday, January 18, 2023