The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors adopted a Tobacco Retail Licensing (TRL) Ordinance for Humboldt’s unincorporated areas at its July 11 meeting. The County of Humboldt is the first jurisdiction to pass this type of ordinance locally. The policy establishes local control over retail tobacco sales and provides enforcement options to limit illegal tobacco sales to youth.
According to the “Humboldt County lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and tobacco use mortality data report, 2005-2018,” 34% of all deaths in Humboldt County are related to tobacco use. The TRL will allow the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), Public Health staff to assist retailers in the unincorporated part of the county to come into compliance with the business standards and practices of the county.
Public Health staff worked closely with the Tobacco Education Network and community partners from the Humboldt Allies for Substance Use Prevention coalition, the Health and Social Policy Institute - Communities Addressing Nicotine (CAN), Tobacco-Free North Coast and NorCal4Health to develop the policy.
The TRL program will be run by Public Health and will focus on working with local shops to reduce sales of tobacco products around youth-focused facilities such as schools and parks, determining proper product and advertisement placement and reducing sales to those under 21.
In other parts of California, TRLs have helped shop owners avoid fines and penalties from the state by educating them on changes to tobacco laws and helping them redesign their stores. This TRL ordinance does not apply to stores in incorporated cities or on tribal lands in Humboldt County.
Staff from DHHS’s Public Health Branch, Healthy Communities Division have started contacting tobacco retailers in unincorporated Humboldt to provide information about the TRL. Any shop owners with questions about this new law or any cities interested in pursuing a TRL for their jurisdiction, can call 707-268-2132 or email TobaccoFreeHumboldt@co.humboldt.ca.us. There is also more information online at humboldtgov.org/TobaccoFreeHumboldt.
If you need help quitting, call Kick It California at 1-800-300-8086 (English) or 1-800-600-8191 (Español). Anyone over age 12 can also chat online at http://kickitca.org/chat, or text 66819 with “QUIT VAPING” (English) or “NO VAPEAR” (Español). Tobacco-Free Humboldt also has a quit page at humboldtgov.org/672/Stop-Commercial-Tobacco-and-Nicotine-Use.
Want to get involved with commercial tobacco use prevention activities? We provide education to the community, pick up tobacco litter and can help cities understand why a TRL is beneficial for their communities. Contact TobaccoFreeHumboldt@co.humboldt.ca.us to learn more about the Tobacco Education Network.
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