Local licensing laws are needed in order to effectively combat the problem of illegal tobacco sales to minors.
More than 80 communities in California have adopted strong local tobacco retailer licensing ordinances in an effort to reduce illegal sales of tobacco products to minors. A study was performed by the Center for Tobacco Policy & Organizing in March of 2011, in which the 31 cities surveyed, youth sales rates before the local ordinances averaged 37 percent. The most recent youth sales rate data averaged 9 percent. The results demonstrate that local tobacco retail licensing ordinances with strong enforcement provisions and training are very effective.
Fees in SLO County for a local license range from $65 to $500 annually depending on the cost of enforcement and training required for the city in question.
The consequences of not protecting kids from tobacco are too great when 36,000 youths in California become smokers each year.
Currently in SLO County, Atascadero, Morro Bay, Paso Robles and Pismo Beach do not require local retail licenses. It is time for these cities to get in the game and be a part of the solution to stop tobacco access to kids.