Illegal cigarette sales to minors


Many local establishments have been caught selling cigarettes to minors, recently discovered by the Joliet police department.

Sydney Czyzon, Views Editor

Eight seconds after inhaling the dangerous chemicals invested within a cigarette, the notoriously addictive chemical nicotine provides users with a sensational stimulation. Because of this, it is extremely difficult for individuals to quit after starting; therefore, many underage abusers will do anything it takes to get ahold of their sacred cigarettes. However, several local merchants will be carefully monitoring the ages of consumers after being busted for selling tobacco products to under-qualified adolescents.

On Thursday, November 21, 2013, the Joliet Police Department united with teenagers under the age of 18 to secretly go undercover in order to ensure the lawful acts of community businesses. Disappointingly, the Dominick’s on 2318 Essington Road and the Shell/Circle K on 3021 Plainfield Road in Joliet were caught disobeying their issued tobacco license and the clerks were charged $200 for violating state regulation. Other business chains in surrounding suburbs such as Dolton, Lockport, Oak Lawn, and Mokena, were also exposed as permitting the sale of tobacco products to minors.

These types of examinations are completed three to four times each year in order for each of the approximate 130 city employers to be evaluated. Back in February of this year, a similar search was conducted and nearly 20 local stores were uncovered as committing the intolerable crime, 13 of which were located in Joliet. Although the number of businesses caught has slightly decreased since then, the amount of employees who openly permit selling tobacco products to minors is astonishingly unsatisfactory.

It is absolutely integral that the rate of underage smoking decreases in years to come, as the number of those partaking in the life-threatening act is becoming dangerously high. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids website released, “Tobacco kills more than 400,000 people annually – more than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined,” in an attempt to depict how outrageously preventable the amount of tobacco-related deaths recorded every year are. Also, according to the organization, over 3,000 juveniles attempt to try their first cigarette per day.

On top of this, it has been recently released that 18.1% of high-school students are offenders of under-qualified smoking, resulting in 800 million packs consumed by them every single year. About 6,000,000 of those who are below age 18 and plan on continuing to smoke are predicted to die from the lethal addiction eventually. Furthermore, the dangers of cigarettes include the countless toxically fatal chemicals that are endowed within them, including the cleaning substance ammonia, the rat poison fugitive arsenic, the butane element found in lighter fluid, lead, and the cancer-inducing component of polonium. Up until someone’s mid-20’s, the compartments of one’s brain are consecutively developing and this process could be greatly disrupted do to the implementation of these pollutants.

Despite the common claim that cigarettes are a stress-reliever or an energizer, it is undoubtedly necessary for teens to steer clear of harmful additives that unlawful clerks have been hazardously selling in the area. No matter the circumstance, tobacco products are not an acceptable alternative for any individual. Employers and citizens in the area must come to a consensus regarding the lawful protection of minors to sustain from tobacco products.