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California City Targets Tobacco

The Mountain View City Council is expected to consider an ordinance aimed at curbing tobacco use by youths.

The measure would ban self-service displays of tobacco products, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Fortunately, as a result of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) and tobacco company cash incentives for retailers to receive slotting fees, many convenience store retailer have phased out self-service displays over the past two years.

The measure would also ban free samples and promotions to minors and require retailers that devote more than 20 percent of their space to tobacco products to get a special permit, except for cigar stores, the report said.

An earlier draft of the ordinance contained restrictions on indoor and outdoor advertising of tobacco products, but those provisions have been removed in response to a U.S. Supreme Court case. The city had filed papers in that case in support of the advertising restrictions, which the court deemed violate the First Amendment.
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