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March 11th, 2008:

New Tobacco Law Goes Into Effect in Pacifica

PACIFICA, Calif. (KCBS) — A new law took effect in Pacifica Tuesday that makes it one of the most expensive in the Bay Area for retailers who want to sell tobacco products.

Thanks to a bill passed by the city council last month, merchants will now have to pay $300 a year for a license to sell cigarettes. The intent is to keep retailers from selling tobacco to minors. The money raised by the license fee will go toward educating merchants about selling smokes to kids and for police enforcement.

“They’re easily accessible because so many people are smoking now,” said Terra Nova senior Barbara Louthan, who helped passed the new law.

A similar law in Riverside cut youth access to cigarettes from 65 percent to zero.