Saturday, September 19, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 29

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on August 12th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 24 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 24

Guadalupe passes strict tobacco control regulations

By Kasey Bubnash

Guadalupe now has one of the most stringent tobacco control ordinances in Santa Barbara County, and it’s going into effect at the end of this month. 

Through the new ordinance, which Guadalupe City Council passed on July 28, retailers will have to obtain licenses to sell tobacco products. The sale of flavored tobacco—including menthol—is banned, along with the use of coupons and discounts for tobacco products. Retailers will have to sell tobacco products at set minimum prices or higher, individuals under 21 will not be allowed to sell tobacco products, and new tobacco retailers will not be allowed within 1,000 feet of schools. 

The ordinance also establishes regulations for smoking allowances in multi-unit housing facilities, requiring that smoke-free areas exist indoors and out. 

It’s a big change for Guadalupe, which received an F rating from the American Lung Association in its 2020 State of Tobacco Control report. With roughly 30 percent of Guadalupe’s population being under the age of 18—the demographic that tobacco prevention specialists say is often targeted by tobacco companies—Guadalupe City Manager Todd Bodem said there was a lot of interest from city leaders in getting serious about prevention measures. 

“We didn’t even have a tobacco ordinance,” Bodem told the Sun

Now, city and county officials are working with Guadalupe’s eight tobacco retailers to ensure they’re clear on the coming regulations, which go into effect just before the end of August. Even after the ordinance becomes effective, Bodem said, existing retailers will have several months to sell off their now banned products, including flavored tobacco. Enforcement and implementation of the ordinance will start with education, but Bodem said Guadalupe has big plans for that as well. 

With the help of Santa Barbara County tobacco prevention staff, Guadalupe recently applied for a state grant of more than $800,000, Bodem said, which would provide the funding needed to hire two new staffers—a police officer and an office assistant—to help with tobacco prevention, enforcement, and education for three years. 

Guadalupe should know by October whether the city will receive that grant.  

“I think it’s smart. It’s a good move,” Bodem said. “[Tobacco is] addictive, and it’s not good for our children.” 

Weekly Poll
Should the county Public Health Department help elementary schools apply for the state’s waiver program?

Yes, that’s what the department is there for.
Schools shouldn’t open at all right now, nevermind with the county’s help.
If the state thinks schools are ready, what’s the problem?
Schools should have to fend for themselves; it shows whether they’re ready to handle reopening.

| Poll Results

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