The I-PLEDGE program is a partnership with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) to educate local retailers and enforce Iowa’s tobacco, alternative nicotine, and vapor product laws. Since the program’s inception in 2000, the statewide tobacco compliance rate has grown to 91 percent. By participating in the program, the Cedar Falls Police Department has committed to doing its part to further increase the compliance rate.
I-PLEDGE places emphasis on retailer training. Clerks who successfully complete an online training course and then pass an exam will become I-PLEDGE certified. This allows a retail establishment to use an affirmative defense against a civil penalty if the certified clerk makes an illegal sale.
Officers conduct compliance checks on local establishments as part of the I-PLEDGE program. Underage customers, under the supervision of law enforcement officials, will enter the establishments and attempt to buy tobacco, alternative nicotine, and vapor product. Clerks who make the illegal sale will be cited on the spot.
Criminal penalties for selling tobacco, alternative nicotine, and vapor products to a minor include a $100 fine for a first offense, a $250 fine for a second offense, and a $500 fine for third and subsequent offenses. However, handing out citations is not the intent of the I-PLEDGE program.
To take the I-PLEDGE training or search certification records go to abd.iowa.gov.