Riverside County Supervisors Approve Fee on Tobacco Retailers
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve an annual $350 licensing fee on tobacco retailers in an effort to address the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to the county Department of Public Health, more than 40% of county teenagers succeeded in purchasing tobacco products during a recent sting operation -- one of the highest rates in the state.
The fees will be used to fund 10 new staff positions at the public health department to reduce tobacco sales to minors. The new employees also will work with the county Sheriff's Department to coordinate sting operations and train youths to try to purchase tobacco products.
About 2,500 county retailers will be affected by the new licensing fee, which will go into effect in 30 days (Rosenblatt, Los Angeles Times, 9/14).