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Flavored tobacco town hall
April 17 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
While the City of Hollister mulls a possible flavored tobacco ban, a town hall meeting is scheduled for later this month on the topic.
The town hall is set for 6 p.m. April 17 at the Veterans Memorial Building, 649 San Benito St. in Hollister.
The meeting’s purpose is to receive input about the potential changes to the current tobacco retail licensing and ordinance regarding flavored tobacco.
Hollister City Council members in early February took the first step toward a possible ban or regulations on sales of flavored tobacco.
Council members heard from the public and provided direction to City Manager Bill Avera to organize a committee to formulate a proposed ordinance. He said he would include members of a local youth committee and others on the panel, which would make a recommendation to the council at a future date.
At stake is placing a ban or restrictions on flavored tobacco sales due to the increased use of the products among youths.
The San Benito County Public Health Department and local youths had requested the agenda topic. It came in light of consideration at the state level for a similar ban, while about 30 communities in California currently maintain a ban or restrictions for flavored tobacco.
If the council chooses restrictions over a ban, an example in other areas is disallowing sales within a certain distance from schools. An ordinance banning flavored tobacco products is subject to a referendum, like in San Francisco where voters approved one in June.
Council members had varying views on a ban or restrictions at the February meeting.
Police Chief David Westrick said the police department issues two or three citations per week for underage possession of tobacco products.