Baseball will card tobacco purchases

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:58

    HARRISBURG - People who look younger than 27 and want to buy tobacco products should expect to be checked for ID, according to the state Department of Health. In its ongoing work to prevent teenagers from using tobacco products, the department will visit minor league baseball games in Harrisburg, Reading and Wilkes-Barre to remind Pennsylvanians they can expect to be carded when buying cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco. You must be 18 to legally buy tobacco products in Pennsylvania. The outreach will take place at several minor league baseball games, including the Harrisburg Senators, Reading Phillies and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons between June 22 and June 26. “The law says anyone younger than 27 should be asked for ID before making a tobacco purchase,” said state Secretary of Health Dr. Calvin Johnson. “Young customers often are offended when they are asked for ID, and adults waiting in line sometimes become impatient. However, we all have a role to play and Pennsylvanians need to recognize that store clerks are simply following the law when they ask for ID. “Waiting in line a few extra seconds while a clerk checks ID is a small, but effective, way to make sure tobacco is purchased only by customers who are of legal age.” The Department of Health has chosen Minor League Baseball as a partner in this important initiative because it is an organization that has a long history of supporting youth tobacco prevention efforts. “Baseball games provide the perfect venue for us to interact with a variety of people and encourage them to play a role in helping to keep tobacco out of the hands of Pennsylvania’s youth,” said Johnson. As part of the effort, “street teams” will ask fans at the ballparks to sign a pledge in support of clerks who “check it.” The pledge also encourages individuals to thank clerks for doing their job by carding their customers. The “Check It” ad campaign and baseball tour are the latest components of Pennsylvania’s ongoing campaign to encourage individuals to quit - or never start - using tobacco products and curb the retail sale of tobacco to minors. For more information on how to quit smoking or stop using other tobacco products, call Pennsylvania’s Free Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, or visit , keyword: Health.