The recent crackdown on businesses in Grover Beach selling tobacco to minors is a good reminder of the importance of strong tobacco control policies in our communities. We commend San Luis Obispo County authorities for taking the necessary steps to protect kids.
On a regular basis, teens are bombarded with advertising for tobacco and e-cigarettes anytime they walk into a convenience store for drinks, snacks or candy. Big Tobacco uses deceptive marketing tactics, flavored products and candy-themed nicotine juice for e-cigarettes to lure teens towards a deadly habit. Each year in California, nearly 11,000 youths start smoking, and tobacco is the No. 1 cause of death and disease.
San Luis Obispo County has tobacco retail ordinances in place to protect our youths and fund decoy operations like the one in Grover Beach. However, more than half of the cities in San Luis Obispo County listed in the American Lung Association’s State of Tobacco Control report do not have tobacco retail licensing policies. It is important that these communities take the necessary steps to keep tobacco out of the hands of kids. We must do as much as we can to protect our youth from a lifetime addiction.
Vanessa Marvin, San Jose