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Police Chief wants to crack down on underage smoking

Updated: Wednesday, August 21 2013, 05:42 PM CDT
Written by: Donna Kirker-Morgan

The Chief of Police in Shippensburg wants to create a local law that will mean police can fine minors, who possess tobacco products.

Chief Fred Scott made this proposal to the Shippensburg Council Tuesday night.

He says there are two goals to his proposed ordinance. The first is to deter kids from starting the habit. Second, he and his patrols would be able to use the summary offense as "leverage" to convince the minor to reveal where they got the cigarettes.

"If they help us perhaps they can avoid the fine." Scott said.

He says he began considering this idea after funding for undercover operations, to crack down on illegal underage cigarette sales, burned out.

He says without a local law like this, the kids can just tell he officers "to go pound sand" when they ask for information on who gave them the cigarettes.

Scott also says it's discouraging to see so many young teens leaving school and lighting up.

Statistics from 2012 show that 1-in-5 teens in our country will try smoking.

"I've been a cop for 41 years, and I've seen that kids who smoke go onto pills, prescription pills or marijuana" Scott said.
Police Chief wants to crack down on underage smoking

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