December 12, 2017
Fairfax City Council Passes Ordinance to Protect Youth from Nicotine Addiction
(SAN RAFAEL, CA) The Fairfax Town Council, on December 6th, unanimously updated their tobacco control ordinance, amending Chapter 8.44 of the Fairfax Municipal Code, to ban smoking in outdoor service areas, ban sampling of tobacco products, to ban pharmacies from selling tobacco products, to specify a minimum pack size for cigars, and to prohibit the sale of tobacco flavored products. The Fairfax Council’s intent was to encourage responsible tobacco retailing while discouraging violations of tobacco-related laws, especially those which prohibit or discourage the sale or distribution of tobacco and nicotine products, including electronic smoking devices, to minors.
Local health officials applauded the ordinance. Mitesh Popat, MD, MPH, Chief Executive Officer of Marin Community Clinics praised the Fairfax Council: “As a physician who directs Marin Community Clinics, I felt heartened to read that the Fairfax Council worked on an ordinance that will make it harder for youth to experiment with tobacco and e-cigarettes that have been aggressively marketed to young people. Here at Marin Community Clinics, as health care providers, we see the preventable diseases that come with nicotine addiction in both tobacco and e-cigarettes.”
Dr. Stacy Anderson, a UCSF researcher and Fairfax resident said: “I am pleased to see the Fairfax Council discuss new ways to prevent teen nicotine and including candy flavored tobacco products and e-cigarettes as well as eliminating youth friendly cigarillo and cigar pack sizes in the new ordinance. There are direct correlations between flavored nicotine delivery systems and youth appeal, according to the Surgeon General (citing this report: https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/). I am also grateful that the ordinance included tobacco-free pharmacies. Drug stores that sell tobacco on one aisle and the medicine to treat its deadly side in another part of the store sends a mixed message, especially to youth, who associate pharmacies with health.”
Bob Curry, Director of Marin County’s Tobacco Related Disease Control Program agreed: “Now maybe the Town of Fairfax can get high grades on the American Lung Association Report Card that comes out in January. More importantly, Fairfax youth have a chance to grow up without exposure to highly addictive nicotine products.”
The Fairfax “Tobacco Retailer Licensing” ordinance goes into effect in one year on December 6, 2018. For more information, contact the County Tobacco Related Disease Control Program at: (415) 473-2559 or visit: www.smokefreemarin.com or www.tobaccofreeca.org.