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    Washington Retailers Face "Sting" Operations

    State's new anti-tobacco campaign aimed at testing clerks.

    BELLEVUE, Wash. -- In an effort to reduce the state's teen smoking rate, King County, Wash. health officials in January will launch a campaign aimed at making more retail clerks aware of tobacco sales laws. As part of the measure, all clerks that sell cigarettes will be required to asking cigarette customers to prove they are 18 or older, according to the Eastside Journal.

    The program in 2003 will include additional compliance checks of retailers, in which volunteer teenagers under age 18 try to purchase cigarettes or other tobacco products. Police and health department officials will conduct the stings.

    During 2002, compliance checks were made at 2,230 stores, where 93 percent of clerks asked for identification or refused to sell goods to the underage teens, the report said.

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