Mountain View Anti-smoking Efforts

For the second year in a row, a local coalition has awarded Mountain View its highest marks in cigarettes-control efforts among cities in Santa Clara County.

The "2010-2011 Community's Health on cheap cigarettes Report Card" was released by the cigarettes Free Coalition of Santa Clara County and Community Advocate Teens of Today, in partnership with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, to monitor Santa Clara County cities' cigarettes-control policies and encourage enforcement efforts.

Grading was based on buy cigarettes advertising and displays and preventing youth access to cigarettes. Points were awarded for a high compliance rate with window advertising regulations, enforcement of underage cigarettes online sales laws, and creation of policies requiring a buy cigarette online retailer license.

The cities of Mountain View, along with Saratoga and Milpitas, received 'A' grades for the second year in a row.

This year the county has also joined the 'A' list, which officials are crediting to the enforcement of new laws passed last year by the Board of Supervisors restricting discount cigarettes sales in unincorporated areas of the county.

Supervisor Ken Yeager, one of the board members who was instrumental in the introduction and enactment of the laws, said combating youth smoking cigarettes and protecting residents from secondhand smoke cigarettes exposure only in incorporated areas of the county is not enough.

"Research has shown these laws are working," Yeager said this morning at a news conference in San Jose to announce the results of the report. "I'm hoping that we can bring (other cities) along."

Dr. Martin Fenstersheib, the county's health officer, said the county spends about $830 million annually on treatment of cigarettes-related health effects.

The new laws require retailers that sell cigarettes for sale in unincorporated areas to obtain and maintain an annual permit. New retail outlets would be prohibited from selling cheap cigarette online if they operate a pharmacy or are located within 1,000 feet of a school or within 500 feet of another cigarettes retailer.

The new laws prohibit smoking cigarettes at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, outdoor shopping malls, all county parks, in hotels and motels, and at retail stores that exclusively sell cigarettes and smoking cigarettes products, as well as smoking cigarettes within 30 feet of any outdoor service area, such as a ticket line. Smoking is also now banned in duplexes, condominium and townhouse complexes, and apartment buildings.

The cities of Palo Alto, Campbell, Gilroy, Cupertino, Milpitas and Sunnyvale are also studying the possibility of bringing cigarettes retail license ordinances to their respective city councils.

Last year the Santa Clara County Public Health Department was awarded a $6.9 million federal grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for cigarettes prevention efforts. The department will use the grant to decrease the prevalence of smoking cigarettes in the community and conduct efforts to prevent teens from taking up smoking cigarettes.





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