On July 11, 2023, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors joined the more than 200 jurisdictions in California that have adopted the Tobacco Retail License (TRL) Ordinance. This very exciting development is the result of many hours of collaboration between the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Department of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health, Department of Healthy Communities, Center for Public Health Law, NorCal 4 Health and Tobacco-Free North. was. Coasts, nicotine-tackling communities, and rural initiatives that strengthen equity.
Many of these partners are members of the Tobacco Education Network (TEN), a local nicotine use prevention coalition, and also support Public Health’s work on TRL legislation. A member of TEN is currently giving a presentation on his TRL countywide and is discussing adoption of a similar ordinance with local cities. In May, staff from the Public Health Service’s Division of Health and Communities and Division of Environmental Health launched an outreach to tobacco retailers. Their work included visiting local shops and handing out educational materials about TRL.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commercial tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in California. This is why the county wanted to address local tobacco use rates through her TRL ordinance. Commercial tobacco refers to products manufactured by a company. This excludes the sacred and traditional use of tobacco by indigenous peoples.
What is going on locally? By 2022, 73% of unincorporated Humboldt stores sold tobacco products for $2 or less. According to the January 2022 Tobacco Free North Coast Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey, underage youth tobacco product sales in unincorporated Humboldt County was 54%. This means that 54% of his tobacco retailers, or 37 stores, sold tobacco products to those under the legal sale age of 21. This information can help determine the extent to which commercial tobacco products are available to local youth.
A study presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics found that youth smoking rates are lower in areas that have TRL ordinances that require annual compliance checks. The Tobacco Retail Licensing Act helps the county focus on healthy change. The less people depend on commercial cigarettes, the more likely young people are to avoid tobacco.
Courtney Angelo is a Health Education Professional with a Master’s Degree in Public Health and Caitlin Gidding is a Health Education Professional II, Project Director of Tobacco Free Humboldt and has a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Masu.