At its meeting tonight, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors is set to consider a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products, along with a prohibition on pharmacies selling any tobacco product, in the county’s unincorporated areas.
The proposed ordinance, introduced by Supervisors Carole Groom and David Canepa, would affect 34 retailers licensed to sell tobacco products in unincorporated San Mateo County, as well as three more retailers at the San Francisco International Airport, according to county documents.
Currently, there are no pharmacies within the county’s unincorporated areas. Any pharmacies that did locate in those areas would not be allowed to sell tobacco products as part of the ordinance.
The purpose for the ordinance is to reduce the number of children who become addicted tobacco, according to the city report, which cited a national survey showing the vast majority of young people who attempt to use tobacco start out with flavored versions.
This isn’t the first ordinance passed by the county aimed at reducing tobacco-related health problems. Previous ordinances banned smoking in multi-unit housing facilities, workplaces and restaurants, county campuses, along with a ban on tobacco self-service displays.
If the ordinance passes the Board of Supervisors, it will go into effect 30 days after. However, enforcement would not begin before July 1.