AUBURN, California — The Auburn City Council passed a tobacco control ordinance Monday that makes it harder for underage people to get tobacco products. 

The new ordinance includes:

  • Prohibiting tobacco retails from being within 1,000 feet of a school, park or recreational area. Tobacco stores also cannot be within 500 feet of one another. 
  • The ordinance reinstates a former law that prohibits underage possession of tobacco products. Officials added an into the ordinance an educational program for underage people, who are caught with tobacco products. 
  • The ordinance updates the definition of tobacco to match the state definition, which includes vaping devices, e-juices and any other vaping related products.  

The ordinance will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. 

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Auburn Police Department will be using the fees attached to tobacco sales for the tobacco education and enforcement programs. 

The police department is also working with the Placer County Tobacco Control Program on educational outreach. 

"It is our hope that with these tools in place, we can better address the critical issue of youth tobacco use as we work towards a healthier Auburn," said Auburn Police Chief Ryan Kinnan in a statement.

While it is against California law to sell and transfer tobacco products to anyone under 21, roughly 70% of Auburn residents surveyed said it was easy for youth to get tobacco products. 

More than two-thirds of people surveyed said they support zoning restrictions and retail fees for tobacco retailers. 

"Many of these products are addictive and harmful to adolescent brain development," Joe Arsenith, who is the acting director of public health at Placer County Tobacco Control Program in a statement. "We are glad to see the Auburn community taking action to protect our young people. 

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