Jackson coalition, youths to distribute educational material

The Jackson County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (JCSAPC) is again teaming up with local youth to visit the county's alcohol and tobacco retailers this summer. The youth will provide a packet containing all required signage and educational materials discouraging alcohol and tobacco sales to minors. Vendors will be reminded of what to do if someone underage tries to buy as well as the consequences of selling to underage youth. Each retailer will receive a one-on-one visit from local youth and an adult chaperone. Information to be provided will include: legal age-limit signs; the new Michigan license identification information; materials to educate their employees about the proper sale of tobacco and alcohol; and information related to fines and policies regarding the sale of alcohol and tobacco to underage youth. Each visit is free for vendors. In Jackson County, 148 tobacco retailers will be visited, along with 133 alcohol vendors. "These visits are part of a community wide comprehensive approach to reduce youth access to tobacco and alcohol," said Rhonda Rudolph, JCSAPC member and Jackson Tobacco Reduction Coalition coordinator, in a statement. She noted that other available resources in Jackson County include providing smoking cessation resources to include the Michigan Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784 8669), smoke-free worksite regulation and alcohol and tobacco prevention programming." The JCSAPC is comprised of community leaders representing local law enforcement agencies, courts, schools, health and human service agencies, youth serving organizations, substance abuse treatment providers and the media. The coalition is working to provide updated information and support to the Jackson community as a whole. The coalition's goal includes preventing the access and availability of tobacco, alcohol and other drug products to underage youth. This summer the coalition will also be providing training (a flyer will be mailed to all vendors) for vendors who serve and sell alcohol. The course is called Training for Intervention Procedures (TiPS), which provides employees with ways to avoid serving alcohol to minors and enhances employees skills related to alcohol sales. The coalition appreciates the continued support of Jackson County alcohol and tobacco retailers and the community to uphold the integrity of state and federal laws. For more information contact Kelsey Haynes at 517-796-5133 or khaynes@uwjackson.org. Published: Thu, May 16, 2013

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