193109 "We Care" even more When Caught

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Martin Baxter, MPH , Tobacco Retail Licensing Program, Riverside County (CA), Riverside, CA
We feel strongly this can be replicated anywhere with 2 or more staff willing to work out in the community to get the ordinance passed and do the enforcement.


Tobacco Retailer Licensing addresses illegal sales to minors in Riverside County, CA. After 10 years of direct merchant education, the State Health Department found 44% of stores in Riverside County, CA illegally selling to minors in 2003.

Staff at the County Health Department used the TALC model ordinance and community organizing, resulting in Board of Supervisors passing an ordinance in 2005 to license tobacco retailers using the $350 license fee for enforcement.

Since 2005 over half of the 26 cities have partnered with the Health Department (more than Los Angeles County has out of 84 cities).

Local enforcement found rates even WORSE than state figures with most communities in a very tight range of 60-70% of merchants selling to decoys.


Describe the steps utilized in Riverside County to promote creation of tobacco retail licensing policies by city governments and the county Board of Supervisors.

Let's get down to what you need to replicate this in your community: getting youth behind the movement, surveying merchants, decoy recruitment, decoy procedures, statistics to convince city councils, administrative penalties against the license owners vs. criminal citations of the clerk.

Ask questions to figure out how to replicate this in your own community.


Expect a 70-100% drop in illegal sales to minors after 3 enforcement checks.

Learning Objectives:
Describe effective steps to creating tobacco licensing ordinances/laws that increased enforcement of ALL tobacco laws and dropped sales to minors by 75%.

Keywords: Youth Access, Law

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am directly involved in community organizing to get the laws passed and also in the enforcement activities after the law is passed.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.