The No BUTS! and Star Store both work with Tobacco Retailers. No BUTS! reduces purchase of tobacco by underage customers. Stat Stores reduce the tobacco advertising messages that normalize tobacco use.
The No BUTS! program was created by the Maine State Attorney General's Office and the Partnership for a Tobacco-Free Maine in an effort to prevent retailers from selling tobacco products to underage customers. Along with stiff fines and penalties for selling tobacco to underage consumers, there is a compelling public health incentive for blocking tobacco sales to minors: in the state of Maine 27,000 kids will die prematurely as a result of using tobacco products. Tobacco retailers play a significant role in reducing sales of tobacco products to underage customers.
Retail employees must ask for and examine customer’s ID with tobacco sales. If the customer is under the age of 18 then the employee must refuse the sale. Employees can be fined up to $1,500 and lose their job for selling tobacco products to underage customers! Employers can also be fined up to $1,500!
HCCA annually contacts all tobacco retailers reminding them of No BUTS! and the benefits of the training program and related materials. Someone from the HCCA staff is available to come to your location and help with understanding the program and getting everyone trained. And good news, there is a new shorter online training version in 2014.
HCCA reminds retailers to train every employee every year to be eligible for all the benefits of the No BUTS! program and assure no underage tobacco sales!
For more information on No BUTS!, and to make sure your southern Kennebec store is part of the No BUTS! program, contact Holly Hamilton (firstname.lastname@example.org or 588-5027).
Star Store is a voluntary program for stores that encourages responsible retailing of tobacco products. Studies show that in-store tobacco advertising heavily influences youth. The goal of the Star Store program is to reduce the amount of tobacco messages, advertising, and promotions that youth see in stores. Becoming a Star Store has many benefits such as being able to display a decal showing Star Store membership, being recognized in a statewide listing of Star Stores, and being recognized in local papers and social media for commitment to Maine youth. Also, having fewer signs and ads is proven to create a more inviting store environment for customers! A store can be recognized as a Gold, Silver or Bronze level store depending on the amount of tobacco ads that they have in the store.
HCCA supports the Star Store program by surveying the amount of tobacco advertisements in stores and providing a report with suggestions to decrease youth-targeted advertisements. Suggestions could include moving tobacco advertisements away from the candy counter, moving tobacco advertisements higher so they out of kids’ view, or taking down tobacco signs with cartoon characters on them. If you are interested in becoming a Star Store or helping a store in your community become a Star Store, contact Holly Kiidli (email@example.com or 588-5027).