MORGAN HILL (KCBS) – A new tobacco report card shows most cities in Santa Clara County have made significant strides in prioritizing tobacco prevention efforts in sales of cigarettes to minors. Gilroy and Morgan Hill were the exceptions.

Morgan Hill came in with an “F” and Los Gatos earned a “D.” Twelve other cities in the county all received an “A” or a “B.”

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County Health Officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib said that while the overall report card is encouraging, there is clearly still work to be done.

”We really are worried that kids have access to cigarettes,” said Fenstersheib. “Our surveys show us that kids say it’s really easy to get a cigarette. And the easiest way for them to get a cigarette is to actually go in and purchase it.”

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

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Supervisor Ken Yeager said that in order to make it harder for children to buy a pack, the city needs to adopt tobacco retail licensing laws.

”Currently there really are no strong penalties for these mom and pop stores that sell tobacco products to youth,” said Yeager. “What we’re really trying to do is come down with a big hammer that says that if you do sell to minors we’re going to yank that retail license so you would be unable to sell tobacco products.”

A strong tobacco retail licensing ordinance only covers San Jose and unincorporated parts of Santa Clara County.

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