UPDATE: ADD QUOTE
LOS ANGELES -- City Attorney Mike Feuer, and Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Nury Martinez, announced today a multi-pronged effort to curb the illegal sale of tobacco to children in the City.
Feuer announced enhanced enforcement efforts including 30-day suspensions of 14 retailers who have sold tobacco to minors, increasing compliance checks and parental education programs. O’Farrell and Martinez introduced a motion that requests the City Attorney to report back to the City Council on existing Tobacco Retailer’s Permit Ordinance and Tobacco Enforcement Program.
“Selling cigarettes to our kids is not only harmful, it is illegal,” said Feuer. “With a neighborhood-focused approach, my Office is committed to systematically and effectively curtailing tobacco sales to minors.”
“Healthier communities is one of my top priorities,” said O’Farrell who chairs the City’s Arts, Parks, Health, Aging, and Los Angeles River Committee. “I want to be sure we have the policy in place to protect young Angelenos and the right enforcement tools to make an impact.”
"For too long, these retailers have put profits before the law and I’m proud to stand with my colleagues to curtail tobacco sales to our children," said Martinez. "Our community and its well-being is worth more than the price of a pack of cigarettes.”
Feuer’s enhanced enforcement efforts include:
The issuance of 30 day suspensions on the sale of tobacco for 14 area retailers who have sold to minors twice within the last five years. During the suspension period, retailers cannot display, sell or offer for sale cigarettes and/or other tobacco products. Each retailer is located within a half mile of a school.
Increasing the number of citywide compliance checks by 50% to 700 retailers annually.
For the first time publishing an online list of retailers who sell repeatedly to minors. The list will also include the retailers’ proximity to local schools. This information will help educate the community, especially parents, to problem merchants.
An education program on the subject of tobacco sales to minors for parents who will work with the City Attorney’s Office to help identify problem retailers. This pilot program is being conducted at four middle schools:
-Vista Middle School, Van Nuys
-Barack Obama Global Prepatory Middle School, South Los Angeles
-Joseph Le Conte Middle School, Hollywood
-John H. Leichty Middle School, Westlake/Mac Arthur Park
The motion introduced by the Councilmembers will be heard in Arts, Parks, Health, Aging, and the Los Angeles River Committee later this year.