Gravenstein Health Action Coalition hopes adoption of a tobacco ordinance and permit will help address teen vaping

The Sebastopol City Council voiced support for exploring the creation of an ordinance that would require businesses to obtain tobacco retail licenses to sell tobacco products, including ones used for vaping.

The council voiced unanimous support for the creation of an ordinance following a presentation by the Gravenstein Health Action Coalition about what regulations the retail license may include. The presentation occurred during the city council’s July 7 meeting.

In its presentation, the coalition pinpointed 10 provisions of a tobacco retail license, which include:

  • Restrict flavored tobacco products — ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products
  • Restrict sale of e-cigarettes — ban sales of all nicotine e-cigarette devices
  • No discount/coupons — restrict retailers from accepting or offering discounts or coupons on tobacco products
  • Minimum price — set a minimum price of $10 per pack of cigarettes and little cigars
  • Minimum pack size — set a minimum pack size of 5-20 for little cigars
  • Tobacco free pharmacies — prohibit tobacco sales in locations with pharmacies
  • Proximity to schools — not allow tobacco sales within 500 or 1,000 feet of an elementary, middle or high school
  • Significant tobacco retailers — not allow licenses to new retailers who would sell 50% or more of inventory as tobacco products
  • Density limit — No new tobacco retailers, only tobacco retailers operating lawfully at the time of passage would be eligible to receive a license
  • Non-transferability of license — not allow retailers to transfer their tobacco retail license upon sale of the business

Vice Mayor Una Glass said that she worked with the coalition and folks from Sonoma County’s health department to put the presentation together.

“We are confident that tobacco and nicotine products conflict with our youth’s ability to reach their highest potential. We’re here to discuss how a tobacco retail license could be put into place, why we believe it’s necessary to address the vaping epidemic among our youth today,” said Celosia Arcadia, chair of the Gravenstein Health Action Coalition’s Cradle to Career Committee.

Arcadia’s presentation focused on how the provisions suggested for the license would ideally help limit how available nicotine and vape products are to local teenagers.

Read full article here.

Zoe Strickland – Sonoma West Times & News – July 16, 2020.

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