skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

New Law Cracks Down On Retailers Who Sell Tobacco To Minors

Aired 9/18/12 on KPBS News.

The state will soon get tougher on retailers who sell tobacco to kids.

Enlarge this image

Above: cigarettes

— California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that increases penalties on retailers who sell tobacco to minors. The law comes at a time when sales to California kids have actually hit a new low.

State officials say 5.6 percent of California retailers sold tobacco to minors last year. That's the lowest rate since the state began tracking illegal sales 16 years ago.

Debra Kelley, with the American Lung Association, said some types of stores tend to break the law more than others.

"Non-traditional stores like deli and meat markets have the highest illegal sales rate, well over 11 percent," Kelley explained. "Discount gift stores have higher rates."

The new law increases civil penalties on violators, and temporarily suspends a retailers license to sell tobacco after the third infraction.

The California Department of Public health tracked 2,248 tobacco sales to minors between 2008 and 2010.

State officials say nearly 14 percent of California teenagers smoke.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.

Please stay on topic and be as concise as possible. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Community Discussion Rules. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus