Health advocates help teens keep tabs on alcohol, tobacco retailers

The Whatcom Prevention Coalition and the Whatcom County Health Department have a new program designed to discourage tobacco and alcohol use among teenagers by partnering with teens themselves.

The agencies have developed methods to help teens encourage Whatcom County retailers to comply with state and federal laws banning sales of tobacco and alcohol to minors. Program organizers are also working with retailers to prevent underage sales and find ways to make their stores youth-friendly by limiting in-store tobacco and alcohol advertisements.

Teens from Bellingham High School’s Prevention Club have begun assessments of tobacco and alcohol marketing materials in local stores. County officials plan to conduct similar assessments in unincorporated areas of the county.

For more information about the Whatcom Prevention Coalition and its activities, contact Amy Hockenberry at  360-738-1196 or amyhockenberry@wfcn.org.

For more information about the Whatcom County Health Department’s youth tobacco prevention activities, contact Melissa Morin at 360-676-6724, Ext. 32027 or mmorin@whatcomcounty.us.

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