On Friday, June 26 at 3:30 p.m., the Community Services staff at Glendale Adventist Medical Center will presented a Community Service Award to La Cañada Flintridge’s Youth Council.
The award acknowledges Youth Council members for their dedicated commitment to stop tobacco retailers from selling cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors. Their 2008 staff report to the City Council focused on youth access to tobacco and proposed remedies to this lingering problem. It convinced the city to draft a tobacco retail licensing ordinance in order to better regulate tobacco control laws locally.
Although it has been illegal for more than 100 years, retailers in La Cañada Flintridge have been willing to sell tobacco to minors at an alarming rate. During a Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey in the spring of 2007, Youth Council members found that eight of the seventeen tobacco retailers (47.1%) surveyed were willing to sell tobacco to minors under 18 years old. Some of those stores were within walking distance of a school. The 47.1% sales rate is more than four and a half times larger than the 10.2% found in the 2005 statewide California Youth Purchase Survey.
In California, 63 cities and jurisdictions, including Pasadena, Los Angeles (city and county), Sierra Madre, South Pasadena, Burbank, Glendale, Carson, Compton, Lancaster, Sacramento, San Francisco, Inglewood and Riverside, have passed or are working to pass strong local tobacco retailer licensing laws to protect their kids from a lifelong addiction to tobacco. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the younger a person is when they start smoking, the more difficult it is to quit.
Local tobacco licensing has proven effective in lowering the illegal tobacco sales rate to minors, thus reducing the terrible physical, emotional, and financial toll caused by tobacco use. After the implementation of tobacco retail license in Pasadena, the youth tobacco sales rate dropped from 20%, to 5%, and most recently to 0%. In Riverside, rates dropped from 65% to 0%.
For more information, please contact Guadulesa Rivera, Community Advocate, Glendale Adventist Medical Center, at (323) 255-9030 x29.
1509 Wilson Terrace • Glendale, CA 91206 • Tel: 818-409-8000