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Tobacco Retailer Licensing: A Solution to Youth Access to Tobacco

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A general overview of Tobacco Retailer Licensing: a strategy to reduce illegal youth access to tobacco.

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Tobacco Retailer Licensing: A Solution to Youth Access to Tobacco

  1. 1. The Problem Generally, there are two ways youth gain access to tobacco: 1. Social Sources (Ex: From family or friends) 2. Retail Sources (Ex: Convenience or Grocery stores) Since it is nearly impossible to monitor the social side, action must be taken to control illegal sales in the retail environment. Remember, selling tobacco is a privilege not a right.
  2. 2. The Facts • 99.4% of convenience stores sell tobacco • 75% of teens enter a convenience store at least once a week and stay twice as long as adult customers • 27% of these teens usually buy cigarettes or other tobacco products • Average sales of cigarettes per store were $393,327 These numbers are serious considering…
  3. 3. The Effects • Almost 90% of smokers began at or before the age of 18 • Every day 300 California youth start smoking • 2/3 will become long term users • Tobacco kills ½ of its long term users • 596, 000 of California’s youth under the age of 18 will ultimately die prematurely from smoking
  4. 4. What Can be Done? • It has been illegal to sell tobacco to minors for over 100 years • Tobacco is the only deadly and addictive product that can be sold without a license • Several years ago California advocates launched a new effort to end illegal sales of tobacco to minors • The new effort focused on passing local Tobacco Retailer Licensing (TRL) ordinances
  5. 5. How Does a TRL Work? • The TRL ordinance requires store owners to purchase an annual permit in order to sell any tobacco product • The permit fee covers the cost for the administration of the license and, more importantly, the enforcement – Enforcement = Merchant /community education and several youth purchase stings per year • If store owners or clerks are caught in violation of the ordinance, they are fined or could potentially have their licenses suspended or revoked
  6. 6. Local Licensing Goals • ADOPT A STRONG RETAILER LICENSE • REDUCE YOUTH ACCESS TO TOBACCO • LOWER YOUTH SMOKING RATES
  7. 7. Licensing is Successful Case Study: Contra Costa County Illegal sales before TRL - Illegal sales rate = 37% Strong TRL policy was adopted - YPS was critical tactic - Youth presented YPS results Illegal sales rate after TRL - Illegal sales rate = 7%
  8. 8. How to Get Involved • Educate your friends and family about the issue • Talk to your youth coordinator about what you can do in your local community • Join the Stop Youth Access Social Network at stopyouthaccess.ning.com! • Join the TRL myspace and facebook groups
  9. 9. Stop Youth Access to Tobacco For more information contact Maureen at maureen@cyanonline.org or at 916.339.3424.

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