A New Decline of Tobacco Sales to Minors

Tobacco sales to minors fell in Santa Barbara. The new smoking decline is attributed to a variety of factors involving the increased price of cigarettes, powerful local tobacco retailers’ licensing laws, state and local pressure plus continually public education via media ads placed on television and on major motion picture DVDs.

Minor tobacco sales decline

But cigarettes sales continue to be increased significantly in other areas of the county.

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department said that Guadalupe was the only city in the county that didn’t sell any tobacco to a minor during secret buy actions last year.

For example illegal sales increased in Goleta, Buellton, Lompoc, Solvang and not unified areas of the county compared with 2008’s rates, while sales decreased in Carpinteria and Santa Maria.

Researchers showed in a recent study that in 2008, 18 percent of tobacco retailers in Santa Barbara sold to minors, vs. 2 percent in 2009. But in Goleta, the cigarettes sales rate increased from 13 percent in 2008 to 17 percent in 2009. However, Carpinteria reported a 4 percent drop, to 20 percent.

The Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department studied annual illegal tobacco sales in which youths try to buy tobacco products.

“I have been working on an overture that I will be bringing to the Board shortly, which will set measures on tobacco retailing near schools throughout the county,” First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal explained.

Licensing laws in Santa Barbara County require that businesses selling tobacco products get an annual permission and abide by all tobacco-related laws, including especially those concerning sales to minors. Default to fulfill results in a successive series of punishments, with the possible for license intermission and a ruin of their ability to sell tobacco products.

“Despite the fact that tobacco licensing laws at present exist in the cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta and in the unincorporated areas of the county, the existing laws are almost a decade old. A modification of these laws would help because strong tobacco retail licensing laws are proven to have a explicit and stable effect in decreasing illegal sales to minors,” Tobacco Prevention Settlement Program administrator Dawn Dunn said.

Researchers concluded that however underage use of tobacco remains a serious problem and decreasing illegal sales to minors remained an important component of state tobacco control efforts.

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