Oregon to Stiffen Tobacco Laws

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Oregon to Stiffen Tobacco Laws

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Washington County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to take the first step
Tuesday toward banning self-service tobacco sales and requiring cigarette packages to contain at least 20 cigarettes.

Advocates for those restrictions say they work to stop people younger than 18 from getting cigarettes, The Oregonian reported.

A self-service ban cuts down on shoplifting by youngsters because vendors can check identifications, supporters say. And a minimum package size bars the sale of individually wrapped cigarettes, or "loosies," that at 50 cents apiece are cheaper than a pack and more affordable to minors.

Exceptions to the bill would include state-regulated tobacco vending machines, retail tobacco stores or places such as bars and taverns that already bar minors from their premises. The ordinance would set a $500 fine for violators and cover store owners whose employees break the law, the report said.

The Beaverton City Council on June 24 approved a city ordinance taking effect next month that is similar to the one before the Washington County board.