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Several local businesses cited in electronic smoking device compliance checks

After receiving information in recent weeks regarding the sale of tobacco and vaping products to minors, the Oxford Police Department conducted a compliance check of local businesses.

Of the 24 businesses inspected, eight were cited for failing to be in compliance with Mississippi Code 97-32-51, Prohibition of the distribution of alternative nicotine products to minors. The electronic smoking device compliance checks took place on Jan. 28 and were conducted by the OPD, Mississippi Attorney’s Office, Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department and the Lafayette County Metro Narcotics unit.

The eight businesses that were cited were: Three Way on North Lamar Boulevard, Double Quick on Jackson Avenue, Brittany Store on Jackson Avenue, Murphy USA on Jackson Avenue, West Oxford Chevron on Jackson Avenue, Ward’s Chevron on Old Taylor Road, The Store on Highway 30 and Abbeville Quick Stop on Highway 7.

“Our community law enforcement officers are committed to protecting our youth and being proactive in deterring businesses from selling these products to minors,” OPD chief Jeff McCutchen said in a statement. “We have seen an increase in vape-related illnesses on our school campuses this year. We will continue to create awareness surrounding the health concerns of vaping tobacco products as well as actively investigate complaints of illegal (sales).”

In recent weeks, a Lafayette High School student suffered from a reaction from using a vaping device and two Oxford High School students suffered reactions last Friday, according to Oxford School District superintendent Brian Harvey. The Oxford School District discussed the incidents during their monthly Board of Trustees meeting on Monday.

In December, a federal law went into effect raising the legal age to buy tobacco products, as well as electronic cigarettes and vaping devices, from 18 to 21.

The 16 businesses that passed the compliance checks were: Mobil on University Avenue, Exxon on University Avenue, Discount Tobacco on North Lamar Boulevard, Oxford Spot on North Lamar Boulevard, Shell on Sisk Avenue, Chevron on the corner of South Lamar Boulevard and University Avenue, BP on Highway 334, James Food Center on Jackson Avenue, Kangaroo Express, Texaco on University Avenue, Sam’s Cellphone on Jackson Avenue, Circle K on Thacker Loop, Circle K on Highway 6, Chevron on Highway 6, Dollar General on Highway 30 and Little John’s on Highway 30.