New law cracks down on selling tobacco to minors
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation that creates tougher penalties for stores that sell cigarettes to minors, and the bill's author, Assemblyman Jerry Hill, is crediting youth groups in San Mateo County with spurring the new law.
Hill, D-San Mateo, said he introduced Assembly Bill 1301 in 2011 after meeting with teenagers from the Youth Leadership Institute of San Mateo, who enlisted him to help them curb sales of tobacco to underage teens.
"I've always been a proponent of anti-smoking issues, especially when it comes to young people," Hill said.
As a San Mateo city councilman in the mid 1990s, Hill helped pass an anti-smoking ordinance that prohibited smoking in restaurants and bars. The ordinance was among the toughest in the state at the time, he said.
AB 1301 requires the state Board of Equalization, which issues tobacco sales licenses to retailers, to suspend a store's tobacco license for 45 days if it is caught selling to a minor three times in a five-year period.
A fourth violation would result in a 90-day suspension, and a fifth would cause the retailer's tobacco license to be permanently revoked.
Before AB 1301, retailers or clerks caught selling tobacco products to minors were often just fined, which had less of an effect than a license suspension on a store's profits, Hill said.
The stricter AB 1301 was signed into law by Brown over the weekend.
Hill said it was the young people he worked with -- some of whom spoke before the Legislature -- that generated the momentum for the new law's passage.
"The nice thing is, it was really the young people who were the driving force," he said.
Hill today will join members of the Youth Leadership Institute, San Mateo County Friday Night Live, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office and various other groups to celebrate the new law.
The event will be held at 3:30 p.m. at the Mid-Peninsula Boys and Girls Club at 200 North Quebec St. in San Mateo.
jerry brown, cigarettes, peninsula news
- Three-year-old boy thrown from fire in Hayward
- Albertsons parent Cerberus to buy Safeway
- Peninsula cold case murders linked to Reno killing
- 7 On Your Side: The dark side of green lighting
- Two injured in two-alarm fire in San Jose
- Accident cleared from EB lanes of the Bay Bridge
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Oakland mayor to deliver State of the City address
- Oakland teen accused in AC Transit fire in court
- Batkid was scheduled to appear at Oscars
- Some have privacy concerns with wearable technology
- Wheel of Fortune is coming to Northern California!
- roundup: Cal housing vote; Candlestick soccer 58 min ago
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Friday