Local businesses put to the test

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Several children from the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) quizzed businesses in Chelsea and Alabaster on their compliance with certain aspects of state law regarding selling tobacco.

Along with Meschelle Johnson from Family Connection, the youths went to businesses and surveyed advertisements for tobacco promotional items, the presentation and location of smoking products, age verification/ID requirements and tobacco purchase incentives.

The program was set up by a state grant that funded the project in those two cities. The YEP and Johnson selected businesses at random, in areas where children are likely to shop, near schools and residential neighborhoods.

The program was part of a community effort by Family Connection called the Shelby County Coalition for Safe and Drug Free Communities