Marin Tobacco Control Grades Improve Over Previous Years (SAN RAFAEL, CA)

California’s Tobacco Control Grades went up from an “F” to an “A” according to the American Lung Association’s new report card grades for the State of Tobacco Control released this month, showing progress in 2017. Several Marin communities also saw improvements in their grades. Recent policies adopted by Ross that missed the state-wide report’s deadline, but Smoke-Free Marin Coalition members felt that Ross should share some of the rewards of passing important protections for their community. Ross had banned the use of e-cigarettes in public spaces and smoking in common areas at multifamily residences, such as apartments. The Ross Town Council had also approved a town licensing requirement for sale of tobacco products and prohibits smoking at active construction sites.

Novato, Fairfax and Ross join the other Marin jurisdictions who have previously achieved the A grade including County Unincorporated, Mill Valley, Belvedere, and San Rafael, although San Rafael has not yet enacted tobacco-free pharmacy regulations urged by the Marin Pharmacists Association last year.


Bob Curry, Director of Marin County’s Tobacco Related Disease Control Program praised local jurisdictions for their work in public health and safety policies:  “Flammable tobacco and marijuana products can cause fire safety hazards and drifting smoke causes allergic reactions in vulnerable populations and children.  Recent progress in banning smoking of tobacco, marijuana and e-cigarettes in apartments and condos provides widespread health and safety protection for local residents and their children. “


Jennie Cook, Chair of the Smoke-Free Marin Coalition, stated that local health advocates are relieved by the improvement in grades: “With the recent actions in Ross, all Marin jurisdictions have now achieved either A’s or B’s in all sections related to second-hand smoke protections both in outdoor air and in smoke-free housing. Accolades go to our local leaders in all communities for their commitment to protecting the health of all Marin residents and visitors.  That said; there is still much work ahead. Recent studies show increases in youth vaping both tobacco and marijuana via electronic smoking devices. Teens are lured by e-cigarette industry hype. The Coalition hopes that every Marin community will enact a tobacco retailer licensing policy to protect youth as Novato, Ross, and Fairfax have done.”


To see Marin's report on each jurisdiction, visit:


Town Council OKs limits on tobacco

Use of e-cigarettes in public spaces and smoking in common areas at multifamily residences, such as apartments, has been banned in the town of Ross.

The Ross Town Council approved the ordinance in a second reading Thursday. The ordinance also creates a town licensing requirement for sale of tobacco products and prohibits smoking at active construction sites.

The town has had smoking regulations since 1989 and was last updated in 2007. The American Lung Association, which publishes an annual report card grading California cities and towns on their smoking regulations, recommended these changes for the town. The lung association encourages communities to tighten smoking regulations to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke. Ross has earned a “C” grade on the report for the past several years. ( website editor's note): Ross missed the deadline for the ALA "State of Tobacco Control" report and would have earned an "A" grade if it was one week later. The Smoke-Free Marin Coalition applauds Ross for moving forward to protect its residents, workers, and visitors from the health hazards of smoking and its impact on the environment."  (See article below):

Local Updates 

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:  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: or  

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