Carp Approves Moratorium on New Cigarette Sellers

The Carpinteria City Council voted unanimously to enact a temporary moratorium on licensing any new businesses that sell cigarettes or other forms of tobacco pending the drafting of a final ordinance. Currently, 19 businesses are permitted to sell cigarettes in Carpinteria. Most-immediately affected by the moratorium is the license application recently submitted to City Hall for a cigar store–tobacco shop on Linden Avenue. Although the application had already been turned in, it won’t be considered until the council hammers out the details of a broader tobacco ordinance. The council is hoping to create a measure giving City Hall the authority to enact tougher penalties on business owners who sell cigarettes to minors. Currently, state law only allows such sanctions to be levied against store clerks. In addition, the council is hoping to determine just where people can smoke in public. Currently, the city has so many prohibitions about smoking in public — close to schools, close to parks, anywhere downtown, and anywhere on the beach — that it’s not clear there’s any place where people can legally smoke.

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