October 4, 2023

Brentwood’s ban on new tobacco smoke outlets will proceed for at the very least one other 12 months.

The Metropolis Council unanimously agreed to the extension this week after listening to a variety of college students, well being advocates and fogeys request simply that in addition to harder guidelines relating to tobacco gross sales.

Isabelle Kirske, senior well being educator with Contra Costa well being tobacco prevention program, instructed the council that “until tobacco use charges decline, an estimated 441,000 of all California youth who’re alive immediately will die prematurely from smoking associated ailments.”

“Our aim is to vary that,” she stated.

Kirske added that Brentwood had lately acquired an “F” on its tobacco coverage scorecard from the American Lung Affiliation for its lack of rules.

Furthermore, Kirske stated there are 44 tobacco retailers within the metropolis, 37 of that are situated inside a two-block radius of locations the place younger folks frequent like faculties, parks, playgrounds. Of these, she counted 12 “important retailers” – 10 tobacco smoke outlets and two hookah lounges, all inside 1,000 ft of these areas the place youth congregate.

In keeping with the 2021 to 2022 California Wholesome Children survey for Liberty Excessive Faculty District, 25% of Eleventh-graders report having used a vape product, and on a state degree, 72% of Eleventh-graders report that vapes are straightforward to entry in line with current knowledge from the 2022 California youth tobacco survey.

The info reveals that since March of 2020 Brentwood additionally has seen the best enhance – at 33% – within the variety of tobacco retailers in Contra Costa County, and has the fewest variety of native insurance policies to curb youth entry, she stated. It additionally has double the variety of beneficial retailers for a metropolis its dimension, Kirske famous.

“Our communities can set a restrict on the variety of all tobacco retailers, not simply smoke outlets,” Kirske added. “It will probably additionally set a minimal worth and pack dimension for tobacco merchandise, so merchandise can’t be bought cheaply in small packs, which we all know are extra interesting to cost delicate people like our younger folks.”

A number of college students additionally spoke out, noting tobacco merchandise are prevalent in Brentwood faculties and simple to entry.

Sanvi Panda, 14, stated tobacco corporations “have focused children perpetually.”

“As a excessive schooler I can’t stroll into any rest room on my campus with out smelling the sickening scent of smoke with the sugary aerosol from the vapes,” she stated. “And the worst half is, it’s not simply one thing that you just see different children doing, you recognize that anybody can get roped into it. It might be my associates, the folks I care about.”

One resident, although, stated he can be “extra supportive” of the ordinance if it stopped tobacco gross sales “at each institution on this metropolis” equally.

“I’m up right here as a result of it has to do with alternative,” Danny Dohrman stated. “And I’m speaking about those that select to purchase a services or products…Let’s not be the morality police.”

Dohrman additionally stated there ought to be some shared duty with faculties and fogeys.

“I’m not advocating smoking,” he added. “That is merely advocating enterprise.”

Throughout council dialogue, Vice Mayor Susannah Meyer stated she supported the ban.

“The stats that we’re listening to tonight are appalling and, frankly, embarrassing,” Meyer stated. “ So you place it on us and we have to act on it. Now this duty is on our shoulders to make issues higher. And I strongly consider we have to do this.”

Councilwoman Pa’Tanisha Pierson was additionally in help.

“I might wholeheartedly suppose that tonight we want to have the ability to make some choices about including tobacco insurance policies, not only for smoke outlets however for all tobacco retailers,” Pierson stated.

“One of many issues I might truly ask tonight is that we put a tobacco retail license in place,” she added. “The retail license is simply $265 per 12 months per location, which is a extremely insignificant quantity. However what it could do is guarantee compliance with native legal guidelines. And cut back youth entry to tobacco.”

Mayor Joel Bryant in the meantime reiterated his “absolute and whole perception in an people’ private rights.”

“Having stated that, it’s our absolute obligation to take a stand in opposition to one thing that’s improper – and greater than take a stand,” the mayor stated in his help of the ban.

“And so if if we’re going to shield probably the most susceptible demographics, in our group, our kids, we’ve acquired to do one thing that not solely protects them and makes it harder for the predators which might be preying upon their futures and their well being to do get entry to them,” he added. “However I might like to see as extreme requirements we will and measures from can to those that violated on the state degree.”

Councilwoman Jovita Mendoza, who had superior the ordinance, moved to approve the extension however wished to take it farther and contemplate new guidelines on tobacco gross sales and places at a future assembly.

The tobacco urgency ordinance was initially adopted in September of 2022 whereas the town started finding out what everlasting tobacco gross sales rules it wished to enact. The moratorium was then prolonged the next month for one more 12 months. It was set to run out on Sept. 8 had the council not voted to increase it this week.

The moratorium will now expire on Sept. 8, 2024.