There is a serious problem in Reedley concerning tobacco sales to minors. A 2013 study revealed that 42.8% of tobacco retailers in Reedley sold tobacco products to people under the age of 18. Minors in Reedley can purchase tobacco products by lying about their age, using a fake ID, knowing a clerk that will sell to them, and more.
In contrast, when alcohol is sold to a minor, the owner of the store pays a fine and is at risk of losing his alcohol license. Yet with the sale of tobacco products to minors, the owner pays a fine but is not at risk of losing his license.
One solution for the city is to adopt a tobacco retail license ordinance. More than 100 cities and counties in California have local tobacco retailer license laws. These encourage responsible tobacco retailing because the owner would now be at risk of losing his license if selling tobacco products illegally.
Reedley is a great business community, but this should not come at the cost of children’s well-being. I urge our City Council members to consider adopting a tobacco retail license to discourage tobacco sales to minors.