Dublin is considering changes that could make the most of the stores to stop selling tobacco for three years. If approved, it will be one of the most stringent local tobacco sales laws in the state. Most California cities have no local zoning rules ban sales of tobacco products in certain areas.
“I think it would reach a new level,” said Justin Garrett, policy manager of the American Lung Association in California. “I would like to address this significant action in tobacco control.”
Saying it wants to protect children from tobacco, the City Council on Tuesday unanimously agreed to have its staff develop a zoning ban sales of tobacco products within 1,000 feet of homes, schools, parks and day care centers. Mayor Tim Sbranti was absent from the meeting.
Several cities have filed bans sales, as new business applications, but let’s existing stores to continue selling. But the Dublin Council left no doubt that it is ready to move on, stopping sales at existing stores too close to home or school during phase one, two or three years.
At least 18 years old, and probably more, of the 24 stores that sell tobacco in Dublin will be affected by the ban on sale of tobacco products within 1,000 feet of residential areas, schools, parks and other places where children gather, said Roger Bradley, Dublin’s assistant city manager.
The city will need to explore the map to determine exactly how many stores will be allowed to continue selling, he said. also wants to introduce a new licensing requirements for tobacco retailers.
The 24 retail tobacco sellers in in the city include grocery and drug stores, minim arts and gas stations.
“We’re not talking about banning tobacco in Dublin, but restricting where it is sold,” said Dublin vice Mayor Kevin Hart.
Reducing minors’ access to tobacco use and addiction lowers rates, council members said.
Other cities have shied away from a ban on sales of existing businesses because of political opposition and concern that the company will defend its sales have been damaged or taken away, say experts on tobacco legislation.
Providing businesses for up to three years phased ban would allow them to prepare for the restrictions and recoup their investment in tobacco, Dublin officials have suggested.
Offering a phase in period, the average legal basis between the extremes of banning the sale or payment of compensation directly to stores, said Ian McLaughlin, Senior Associate in Public Health Law and Policy, a nonprofit that offers information about tobacco and health issues.
“Grandfathering in old plants is less risky, but the reduction in the density of tobacco retailers is a stronger public health policy,” said McLaughlin.
Regulators have used phase-in periods with new rules for other industries, including billboards, he said.
No store owners spoke at the council meeting on Tuesday. Messages left for the Neighborhood Market Association, retail groups critical of local restrictions of tobacco, went unanswered on Wednesday.
Dublin council members say they want to adopt stricter rules in November.
Councilman Kasie Hildenbrand said she was pleasantly surprised on Tuesday that the council acts as the rules are strict, as she wanted. “This is a bold step in protecting the health of our children,” she said.