Tobacco Vendors May Have to Get a City License

Retail vendors of tobacco products will have to obtain a city license under a proposal that will go before the West Hollywood City Council on Monday.

No Tobacco logosThe proposal, brought forth by Mayor Lindsey Horvath, is intended to tighten controls over sales of tobacco to minors. Under state law tobacco products cannot be sold to persons under the age of 18. The proposed WeHo license would cover sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products including e-cigarettes. Horvath’s proposal would instruct the City Attorney to draft an ordinance that would include the cost of a license for tobacco vendors. While the proposal doesn’t state a proposed cost, it notes that the City of Los Angeles charges $300 a year for a similar license while Glendale charges $657.

In proposing the license, Horvath cited evidence that state laws barring the sale of cigarettes to minors aren’t well enforced. A study in 2015 by Valley Community Healthcare, working with the L.A. County Department of Public Health, found that 28% of local retailers surveyed in West Hollywood were willing to sell tobacco to minors. Of those, 12 were located within walking distance of a school. The proposal also notes that West Hollywood has a grade of “F” in the American Lung Association’s annual review of tobacco prevention efforts.

As evidence of the success of such a license, the proposal cites declines in sales of tobacco to minors in cities that have put similar policies in place. For example, in Burbank, sales to minors fell to 4% from 26.7%. In Pasadena sales fell from 20% to 0%.

Vendors violating their license would be subject to fines and possible revocation of their city business license.

The City Council will meet Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica.

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Esther Schiller
5 years ago

The average age of the beginning smoker is 13, an age when most of us could agree that the brain is not yet organized to make good decisions. Most people who smoke started before they were 19. Who says that helping children not to begin to smoke is not a good idea?

carleton cronin
5 years ago

Late yesterday news of another friend passing away with stage 4 lung cancer. Another heavy smoker. Ban all tobacco products, risk offending some smokers but, perhaps, saving a life or two. Let’s see if the Council can show some hair and step past the timid appraoch of reinforcing already existing laws about sales of tobacco products to minors. if the city can ban fur they sure as hell can ban tobacco.

mike dunn
mike dunn
5 years ago

When I worked at the MTA main office they had two designated outdoor smoking areas that were very hard to avoid when leaving the building via the main entrance and the third floor balcony. What I found so funny was was that they congregated in a small circle blowing smoke in each others faces.

Between habitual smokers and cell phone users how do these people survive during long air travel?

Mike Dolan
Mike Dolan
5 years ago

Excellent idea! This is not a “nanny-city” one awry. This is simply a pubic safety issue and I support Mayor Horvath for her progressive position. She care deeply for this city, her residents and all of our well being.

Tobacco Vendors should be licensed.

James Francis
James Francis
5 years ago

I am asthmatic and I cannot even frequent establishments and restuarants and bus stops even without smokers along Santa Monica to la Brea and Fairfax anr all over every boulevard to ralphs to rite aid and I applaud CVS for eliminating tobacco products! However the culture is so centered around hookah lounges, to fruit smelling hookah pipes, to harsh cigarettes to cigar lounges and bars and restaurants with outdoor dining that allow and in turn are encouraging second and third hand smokes. It not for the poor air quality and disgustings odors it leaves or lingers throughout the establishments and… Read more »

Paul
Paul
5 years ago

If the person next to me is drinking, their alcohol is not going into my system. But a smoker effects the air of everyone around them. It’s the most rude and offensive activity because it infringes on everyone else. How is it I come home smelling like smoke when I am not a smoker? Why do we let the 20% who smoke ruin the air for the other 80%? The American Lung Association has given our city an F. Weho bars, clubs & restaurants enclose their outdoor areas. Once they’re enclosed it’s no longer outside yet they still allow smoking.… Read more »

Lynn
Lynn
5 years ago

2017 WeHo Tourism Campaign: “Welcome to Weho, the only Teetotaling, Drug Free, Smoke Free City in the Nation”. Well, some folks are bound to come, we should give it a trial run.

carleton cronin
5 years ago

I was able to stop smoking two packs of unfiltered daily about 30 years ago. Happy about that. But, why hide the attempt to control behind a specious argument, preventing the sales of tobacco to minors? (Oh, wait. I see all those kids lining up at Von’s now.) Of course, I understand the need for politicians to soft peddle a proposal, but after just losing a dear friend, a heavy smoker, to lung cancer I think the proposal should be: WE DON’T WANT ANYBODY TO SELL TOBACCO PRODUCTS IN WEHO. BECAUSE SMOKING TOBACCO KILLS PEOPLE. UNLESS YOU REALLY WANT A… Read more »

David Reid
5 years ago

As a reformed (3 pack a day) tobacco addict welcome ANY and ALL efforts to slow down this southern vegetable. Yes to the statewide $2 a pack increase in November and Yes, Yes, yes to The Mayor’s proposal. The dangerous of second hand smoke are proven.
I wish they would over reach and ban the sale in the city.

More Fees
5 years ago

In the spirit of keeping everyone safe (and raising taxes for the city) I would encourage a proposal by WeHo City Council to tighten controls over sales of alcohol.

Under state law alcohol cannot be sold to persons who are obviously intoxicated. There’s a law on the books (California Business and Professions Code Section 25602) already, but many bars are willing to sell alcohol to those already drunk.

I’m proposing this law, as laws regarding over-serving aren’t well enforced. Bars violating their license would be subject to fines and possible revocation of their city business licence.

luca d
luca d
5 years ago

rudy, i could not agree more. in the name of we know best and who else can we lift by the ankles and shake more money, the city has found another source of income.
is there really a problem of minors buying cigarettes? of course not, but the ‘feel good’ crowd has to make it about the children. pathetic.
as for mike’s comments about ‘sick habits’, a case can be made that weho is filled with persons with questionable habits, that also lead to sickness and death. but….

mike dunn
mike dunn
5 years ago

It’s a sick habit and the city should do everything possible to deter the sale to minors. Last year in Hawaii they raised the age from 18 yrs. to 21 yrs. Many businesses in West Hollywood could not care less about our youth. Lets give them a kick in the ass.

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