Businesses cited for selling tobacco products to minors
Three businesses in Chautauqua County have agreed to fines for violating state laws regarding underage tobacco sales, while a fourth business will participate in hearing later this spring.
During the county Board of Health meeting a list of Agreements to Settle was announced regarding violations of the Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act.
The agreements included:
¯ Aayush Kumar Patel, doing business as Fredonia Food Mart & Deli, located at 33 Temple St., Fredonia, paid a fine and received a two point violation for selling tobacco products to a minor.
¯ Yesar Hadid, doing business as Dunkirk Express, located at 81 E. Fifth St., Dunkirk paid a fine and received a two point violation for selling tobacco products to a minor.
¯ Louis Fernandez, doing business as 2nd Street Mini Mart, 102 E. Second St., Dunkirk, paid a fine and received a two-point violation for selling tobacco products to a minor.
Meanwhile, Fadel Khaled, doing business as Pronto Mart, 708 E. Second St., Jamestown, will have a hearing which is set for May 11. The business already had a 2 point violation for a previous violation. According to Jessica Wuerstle with the Environmental Health Services Unit, if they are found guilty, they will lose their license to sell any tobacco and vapor products for one year.
In New York, it is illegal for businesses to sell tobacco or vapor products to individuals under 21 years old. Wuerstle said the county will send underage people to various businesses in the county to see if they will sell them tobacco or vapor products. If they do, they are cited.
Dr. Tariq Khan said vapor products among youth is very concerning. “I think the addictive quality of the products that’s being sold is more of an issue at this point. The age group keeps getting younger and younger. There’s been a couple of incidents … some school districts’ third graders were vaping in the bathrooms,” he said, not identifying the school.