November 16, 2021, 1:44PM
Up to date 4 hours in the past
Petaluma will increase the price of tobacco merchandise, increase the age requirement to purchase these merchandise and ban the sale of flavored tobacco merchandise as a part of an effort to curb a rising variety of public well being considerations surrounding town’s youth and past.
The sweeping tobacco retail license ordinance, which the Petaluma Metropolis Council handed unanimously Monday, will take impact July 6, 2022, and requires tobacco retailers to acquire annual licenses beginning in 2023.
The ordinance additionally raises the minimal age to buy tobacco merchandise to 21, from 18, a step well being officers and public leaders stated was essential amid a surge in vaping amongst teenagers.
“I feel it’s essential to do that as quickly as we are able to,“ said council member Dennis Pocekay, as officials debated about whether or not the ordinance should go into effect sooner than July.
The City Council’s move came as a recent study by the National Institutes of Health showed that 37% of high school seniors stated they had used an electronic “vaping” machine. Petaluma Metropolis Colleges carried out the same survey, which discovered that greater than 53% of senior college students reported to have used an digital smoking machine not less than as soon as in a span of 30 days.
Many residents and organizations confirmed help for the brand new regulation, together with the American Coronary heart Affiliation, the Marketing campaign for Tobacco-Free Children and Hearts of Sonoma County, amongst plenty of physicians and educators.
Kathryn Brown, an adolescent specialist and doctor at Kaiser Permanente with 25 years expertise, stated lots of her sufferers at the moment are hooked on nicotine as a result of introduction of e-cigarettes at a younger age.
“I have definitely seen some teen patients become irritable, drop out of school, and lose a dangerous amount of weight related to their use of nicotine products,” Brown stated in a letter posted to town web site previous to the assembly. Hers was one among 24 statements submitted to the Metropolis Council forward of Monday’s assembly. “In addition, e-cigarettes contain known carcinogens as well as other chemicals in them that cause lung damage, which is concerning for the health of teens who start to use these products at a young age.”
Yearly the American Lung Affiliation in California publishes a “State of Tobacco Control” report which grades every metropolis and county on its tobacco management legal guidelines. Petaluma’s legislation at present has a grade of “B” however by enacting the brand new ordinance, metropolis officers stated the Metropolis’s grade will enhance to an “A” for subsequent yr’s report.
The modification, which caps the variety of tobacco licenses within the metropolis and institutes setbacks from youth-oriented areas and different tobacco retailers, may make it tougher for brand spanking new tobacco retailers to acquire a license if they don’t seem to be working as of the ordinance’s adoption date.
At the moment 54 retailers in Petaluma promote tobacco merchandise. These companies can be required to acquire a license by the 2023 deadline. Some council members posed the query of whether or not or not that quantity needs to be capped as is.
“Fifty-four is an enormous number of locations for that particular product,” stated council member Dave King. “I’m wondering if we can even get milk in 54 locations in Petaluma. Probably not.”
Assistant Metropolis Lawyer Dylan Brady stated that choice is actually potential, including that town of Sonoma has capped the variety of tobacco retailers.
A $10 minimal value will probably be set for a bundle of 20 cigarettes, whereas $2 will probably be charged per little cigar. Every regular-sized cigar will probably be priced for not less than $5, together with all taxes and costs. Sonoma County set a minimal value for tobacco merchandise in 2018, at $7 per pack of cigarettes and cigars.
The typical cigarette pack value statewide is $8.90, in keeping with information compiled by The Marketing campaign for Tobacco-free Children.
The ordinance comes as part of a decision adopted by the Metropolis Council on Aug. 2, which mapped out a two-year precedence plan for town.
About 150 California cities and counties have adopted related tobacco retail license laws, together with in Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Windsor and Sonoma.
Amelia Parreira is a employees author for the Argus-Courier. She may be reached at [email protected] or 707-521-5208.