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California County Passes New Anti-Tobacco Regulations

Curran Kelleher / Flickr
 

Curran Kelleher / Flickr

(AP) - Sonoma County officials have approved new anti-tobacco regulations meant to make cigarettes more expensive and difficult for minors to obtain.

The Press Democrat reports that the changes will be phased in between now and 2018. Roughly 140 retailers outside city limits will have to purchase a tobacco retail license by July of this year. Beginning in 2018, cigarettes must sell for at least $7 a pack.

Officials say Sonoma County is the first local government in California to establish a price floor for cigarettes.

Another change is that electronic cigarettes will now be classified as tobacco products. New tobacco shops won't be allowed within 1,000 feet of schools and retailers found selling to minors will have their licenses suspended.

The licenses will be revoked for four or more violations in five years.