Retailers Stung

The Northhampton Board of Health suspended the licenses of two convenience store operators yesterday for selling cigarettes to minors.

The board voted to suspend the tobacco sales permits of a DB Mart and a Citgo Food Mart in Northhampton. A third retailers, a CVS drug store, also had its permit revoked for 10 days, according to the Union-News.

Each business had been snared in a sting operation in which an underage person bought cigarettes. The stores had been caught several times before under the same scenario, the report said. CVS had been caught selling to minors four times within the past year.

Bruce Carriere, manager of the local CVS, apologized to the Board of Health for the violations. "Somehow I dropped the ball," he said. "I can't make excuses as to why they didn't check IDs."

Carriere said employees are trained. He also said that since the last incident, he has placed bright neon posters around the store saying the store asks for identification from all customers wanting to buy cigarettes, not just those who may look underage or close to underage.

"We have lost some customers due to this," he said. "But it's our policy to ID all people all the time."
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