Santa Clara County’s anti-smoking ordinance called among nation’s toughest

Santa Clara County supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved the final piece in a package of tobacco laws aimed at snuffing out teenage smoking.

The board approved an ordinance requiring tobacco retailers in unincorporated areas of the county to pay $425 for a year for a permit. They also must abide by restrictions on advertising tobacco products and not allow underaged employees to sell them.

The law also requires a one-time $340 permit application fee, but the county will waive that cost for existing retailers. New tobacco sellers will not be allowed within 1,000 feet of a school or 500 feet of another tobacco retailer.

San Jose officials are weighing a similar tobacco retail licensing law.

The county ordinance takes effect in 60 days, but a provision prohibiting sale of flavored tobacco products will be delayed an additional 30 days while county officials consider potential impacts on cigars and pipe tobacco. County officials said that because those products cost more, they are less likely to be bought by teens.

The county earlier this month approved other tobacco laws that prohibit smoking in county parks, outdoor service areas and multi-family dwellings, including apartments, condominiums and townhomes. The American Lung Association says the new county laws, urged by board President Ken Yeager, are among the toughest in the nation.

source: mercurynews.com

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