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Santa Clara County Passes Tobacco Legislation

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Packs of R.J. Reynolds Company brand cigarettes (AP)

Packs of R.J. Reynolds Company brand cigarettes (AP)

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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Despite pleas from tobacco retailers, Santa Clara County Supervisors have passed a tough list of new tobacco rules aimed at underage smoking.

The new tobacco fees and restrictions were applauded by anti-smoking advocates, including Janet Ghanem with Breathe California, who said this will help keep young people from developing smoking-related diseases.

“They incur huge expenses that we have to help them to pay for and they die a terrible, terrible death,” she said.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Santa Clara County Supervisors unanimously approved the ordinances. But retailers like Bill Davis are concerned that the new ban on flavored tobacco would inadvertently affect pipe and cigar smokers.

“Most cigar smokers are connoisseurs. It’s something they enjoy and is a lifestyle,” Davis said.

Supervisor Don Gage agreed but said the intent of the ordinance was minors smoking cigarettes.

“I really don’t see youth with cigars or pipes in their mouths unless they’re smoking something else,” said Gage.

Supervisors have agreed to delay enforcement of the flavored tobacco ban for 90 days while the language in the ordinance is worked out.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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