The Board of Supervisors does hereby find that:
The United States Surgeon General and the United States Department of Health and Human Services have found that a majority of those Americans who die of tobacco-related diseases became addicted to the nicotine in tobacco products as adolescents, before the age of legal consent;
Studies have shown that seventy-five percent of current adult smokers started before the age of 18;
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has concluded that the nicotine in tobacco products is a powerful addictive drug, and has identified nicotine addiction as the most widespread example of drug dependence in the U.S.;
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that tobacco use by adolescents precedes and is predictive of adolescent illicit drug use;
State law (Penal Code Sec. 308) prohibits and penalizes the sale or furnishing of cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors, yet minors continue to purchase, steal or otherwise obtain tobacco products at alarming rates;
In compliance with federal regulations, a new state law known as the Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement Act or STAKE Act (Bus. and Prof. Code, Sec. 22950, et seq.) requires that tobacco retailers post a notice at each point of purchase stating that selling tobacco products to persons under 18 is illegal and subject to penalties. Tobacco retailers also are required to check the identification of tobacco purchasers if they reasonably appear to be under 18 years of age. The STAKE Act also requires state authorities to conduct random inspections to detect illegal sales of tobacco products and imposes civil penalties thereon;
Since minors are more likely to attempt to buy or steal cigarettes and other tobacco products when these items are accessible in self-service displays, banning self-service merchandising of tobacco products will help prevent routine violations of state law;
State law does not regulate the manner in which tobacco products are displayed and made available for sale;
Effective August 1997, the new Federal FDA Regulations (Regulations Restricting the Sale and Distribution of Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco to Protect Children and Adolescents) prohibit the sale of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products through self-service displays, except in facilities where individuals under 18 are not present or permitted at any time.
Accordingly, the Board of Supervisors finds and declares that it is in the public interest and welfare to prohibit the self-service merchandising of tobacco products.
The Board of Supervisors further finds that this Article is meant to complement and effectuate state law prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to minors.
(Added by Ord. 446-96, App. 11/27/96)