Illegal tobacco sales to New Hampshire youth increased over the past year.
The Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday released the results of compliance checks of tobacco sales from across the state.
During those checks, sales to minors increased from nearly 8 percent last year to more than 13 percent this year. Nearly 300 tobacco retailers were surveyed in this year’s check.
Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services Director Joe Harding says while this year’s figure is well below the federal requirement of 20 percent, the increase is concerning.
Harding says research shows lower tobacco use decreases the chance of using drugs or alcohol.
The department says there will be increased coordination with local law enforcement and other education efforts to address the illegal sales.