SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- It's gotten steadily tougher for minors in Illinois to buy cigarettes at stores around the state since 1994.
That's according to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.
The commission says that when it conducted stings back in 1994, minors were able to buy tobacco 67 percent of the time. That number has dropped to four percent for 2011.
Commission Director Gloria Materre tells the Illinois Radio Network that stores can be fined between $200 and $600 if they're caught selling to minors.
She credits the reduction in underage tobacco sales to education and marketing.
Illinois got a boost in its enforcement efforts with a $515,000 federal grant last year.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)