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Montana Youth Access to Tobacco - Reward & Reminder Surveys

What is Reward & Reminder?

Reward and Reminder is a program that was developed by the Department of Public Health and Human Services to educate and remind all tobacco product selling retail establishments that it is a violation of Montana code 16-11-305 to sell or distribute tobacco products to persons under 18 years of age. Reward and Reminder is not a "sting" operation nor is it an attempt by any agency or person in any capacity to catch anyone in an illegal act. In fact, care is taken to ensure that there is no illegal act committed by any party during a Reward and Reminder survey visit. There are three parties involved in a Reward and Reminder visit:
  • RETAIL EMPLOYEE - The purpose of the survey visit is to educate and/or reward the retail employee for their efforts to keep tobacco out of the hands of minors. Because the tobacco sale is never completed in a Reward and Reminder visit, no illegal transactions are committed by the employee.
  • MINOR SURVEYOR - Normally an underage person attempting to purchase tobacco products is in violation of MCA 45-5-637. However in the case of Reward and Reminder surveys and official inspections, MCA 16-11-310 removes liability under civil or criminal law for individuals under 18 years of age who assist in enforcement of Montana Code.
  • ADULT SURVEYOR - The adult surveyor watches the transaction and makes a determination of whether the retail employee showed intent to sell. "Intent to sell" is a judgement call based on established program criteria.
The adult surveyors will give the blue Reward or white Reminder (examples are pictured on the right) card to the clerk based on their best judgment and established Reward and Reminder rules and definitions. At all times, Reward & Reminder personnel do their best to not embarrass the clerk or interrupt the business. We do our best to make survey visits positive, helpful experiences for the surveyed business and the employees we interact with.

So what is the "Reward"?

Retail employees who refuse to sell tobacco proucts to minors are given the blue "Reward" card. This is the initial reward...our thanks and recognition of a job well done. Additionally, if the employee fills out the blue card and mails it in, they are enterred in a quarterly drawing for a $100.00 gift card.