OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Two smoke shops in Oakland were cited by the Oakland Police Department Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco (ABAT) Unit for selling flavored tobacco products to minors. OPD said calls of concern by community members led to the recovery of prohibited products.

“The first line of defense in preventing children from obtaining tobacco products is the responsibility of merchants who sell it. Any store found out of compliance will face penalties,” said Officer Jennifer Sena of Oakland Police Department’s ABAT Unit. 

During a follow-up investigation, police seized banned flavored tobacco products with an estimated value between $10,000 and $15,000. The products were in violation of Oakland’s Tobacco Ordinance after Oakland City Council passed an emergency ordinance in 2020 that forbid selling flavored tobacco products, police said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 80 percent of high school students reported using flavored tobacco products.

The clerks who sold the tobacco were issued citations and could face fines, OPD said. OPD did not specifically name the stores that were caught selling the banned products.