Youth Access to Tobacco Products
While it is illegal to sell tobacco products to people under 21, these products still end up in the hands of young people. Fresno County youth can obtain these products online, from someone they know, or from local stores. A 2019-2020 survey of 10th and 12th graders in Fresno County showed that 2 out of 6 youth report purchasing their products from a local store.
The United States Surgeon General states that raising the price of tobacco products can stop people from trying tobacco products, decrease use of tobacco products, and encourage people to quit tobacco use. Currently, state law requires that cigarettes be sold in packs of 20. However, there are no laws that restrict pack sizes for cigars or cigarillos which allow tobacco companies to sell these products at very low prices such as 99 cents. Increasing the required pack size to sell will increase the overall price of the product.
In addition, tobacco companies encourage promotions to further reduce the cost of tobacco products. Many tobacco retailers may offer a buy two for 99 cents promotion for cigarillos or offer discounted vape devices.
These tactics make tobacco products easier to access by price sensitive shoppers such as youth.