This October, the Suffolk County Police Department initiated a Vape Shop Investigation where undercover police conducted a sting operation to ensure regional tobacco shops are working within the law to check ID for vape sales and only sell tobacco products to those who are 21 and over. This investigation took place at 94 vape shops and tobacco stores and uncovered 20 establishments that broke the law to sell to minors. In recent years, the sale of tobacco has finally been on the decline. Nicotine addiction had been curtailed, which is a win for the public health of the entire country. However, clever marketing and retailers who sell to minors have begun to reverse the trend of tobacco-use decline. Youth are being targeted by manufacturers that sell flavored nicotine cartridges for vaporizers that attract young buyers. E-cigarettes that look like USB drives are the most popular nicotine product among middle and high school kids. Thanks to the SCPD, retailers now understand that there is no tolerance for those who break the law and sell vapes to kids. Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart summed it up, “The Suffolk County Police Department takes the sale of electronic cigarettes and vaping products to minors seriously. That is why we conducted a thorough operation over the weekend, which resulted in 21 arrests – including two repeat offenders. In addition to enforcement efforts, the Department will continue to educate as many students, parents and community members as possible in order to curb the use of vaping among teenagers and young adults.” The Suffolk County Police Department’s hard work, dedication, and vigilance are critical in keeping our county safe. Thanks to the SCPD, we have enjoyed a continuous decline in crime. As a result of these officers’ work, we’ve experienced the lowest crime rate in recorded history. Each and every day we want to thank them for their service and sacrifice to keep this county safe.