15 businesses in Boone County have sold tobacco products to minors in 2018, according to the Food and Drug Administration's compliance checks of tobacco product retailers.
The new data comes amid the FDA's announcement that it sent 1100 warning letters to stores for the sale of e-cigarettes. The agency said Wednesday it is concerned with an "epidemic" surge in teen use of the product.
According to the compliance report, the Petro-Mart on College Avenue most recently tried to sell tobacco to a minor. Arena Liquor on South Providence Road, XPress Liquor and Smokes on Saint Charles Road and the Hitt Street Mini Mart also had recent violations.
Warning letters sent from the FDA to Hy-Vee, Break Time and Jolly's Convenience Store all said a minor recently purchased an "e-liquid" product.
ABC 17 News also looked at inspection data from the past five years and found that there appears to be an uptick in both compliance checks and violations. In 2017, there were 102 inspections and 12 sales to minors. In 2014, there were 83 inspections and nine sales to minors.
ABC 17 News also reached out to several businesses that had violations. Hitt Street Mini Mart responded to a request for comment; a manager said they try to card everyone but things do happen. He said they are working hard to make sure it doesn't happen again.