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OMAHA, Neb. -- Under pressure from police and local health department officials to reduce the number of incidents where teens were able to buy tobacco products, Douglas County retailers have dramatically improved their compliance rate, the Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition reported.
During the third round of compliance checks by law enforcement this year, just 63 businesses out of the 526 checked were cited for selling tobacco to minors. The compliance failure rate is down from the first round in the spring that showed one in four businesses failing. No citations were issued then so that retailers weren't tipped off to the checks.
The second round, in the summer, indicated that about one in six stores failed. The coalition, which credited increased training for sales associates for the improved results, said 230 retailers failed one, two or all three rounds of the checks.