CENTERVILLE -- The former owner of the City Smoke Shop is appealing $2,300 in fines to the Davis County Board of Health, that it received in 2010 for selling tobacco products to minors on multiple occasions.
The Board of Health recently appointed board member Brian Cook to serve as the hearing officer on the case. Cook, former mayor of Kaysville, will meet with all of the applicable parties involved with the case, officials said.
Cook will present his findings and make his recommendation at the May 10 health board meeting.
The citations center around tobacco compliance checks conducted at the City Smoke Shop, 356 N. Market Place Drive, Davis County Health Director Lewis R. Garrett said.
Four of the compliance checks that resulted in violations were conducted by Centerville police, while a fifth violation resulted from a check by the county health department.
"There were five times an underage buyer was successful (in purchasing tobacco products)," police Lt. Paul Child said.
The store received four of the five citations in June and July 2010, with a fifth citation issued by the health department on Nov. 15, 2010, Child said.
Police conducted the undercover buys after receiving complaints from parents and receiving information from youths in the community, Child said.
The store is still operating, he said.
Health officials will address the fines, while the decision whether to revoke the tobacco license of the store rests with state tax commission officials.
Police and the health department routinely partner up about once a quarter to conduct compliance checks on those stores selling tobacco products, Child said.
But this particular smoke shop was frequented more often as a result of parents' complaints and the success underage buyers were having buying tobacco products from the store, Child said.
Utah law states it is unlawful to sell tobacco products to anyone under 19 years of age. The first offense is a class C misdemeanor; the second offense a class B misdemeanor; and all subsequent offenses a class A misdemeanor.
"The compliance checks were driven by citizen complaints," Garrett said in explaining the number of visits made to the store.
The $2,300 in fines is the cumulative total for all the violations, Garrett said.
The previous owner of the store, now a store employee wanting to not be identified, said she did not mean to sell to minors. The former business owner said she sold the store in October and is appealing to the health board the fine amounts.