San Mateo Lawmaker Gets Tough On Stores That Sell Tobacco To Kids

SAN MATEO (KCBS) — San Mateo Assemblyman Jerry Hill is proposing a law that would make it easier to suspend the tobacco licenses of stores that repeatedly sell cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors.

The current law states that a merchant can be caught selling tobacco to minors up to eight times in a two-year period in order for them to have their license to sell threatened.

Even then, it can only be revoked if an annual state survey of youth cigarette purchases is above 13 percent, something that’s only happened once since 2003.

Hill said the current law doesn’t nearly go far enough and that the bill he introduced on Friday would reduce the number of times caught from eight to three for a suspension, and if vendors are caught five times in two years their license would be revoked.

Anti-smoking advocates lined up behind Hill’s proposal at a news conference at the Mid-Peninsula Boys and Girls Club.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

“We need to keep harm out of children’s way and when you sell tobacco to minors, you are going to have repercussions,” said Serena Chin with the American Lung Association of California.

The San Mateo County Education Coalition said 25 percent of stores sold to a minor decoy between 2005 and 2010.

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  • jimbo

    I think if they get caught once selling to minors, their license should be revoked, this would cause stores to check IDs and not sell to minors. It’s simple, stop kids from getting tobacco, and usage will go down, toughen the consequence and you will get the results wanted. At least this is in the right direction, but in my opinion it doesn’t go far enough.

    • sharynf

      I totally agree; the law doesn’tt go far enough. I work at a gas station and the Tobacco law only requires us to get ID from person buying cigarettes; not even considered a ‘second hand sale’ if the person standing next to the buyer is obviously under age. This should definitely change.

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