Anti-smoking fans want tobacco sellers to be licensed
Oakland (AP) - - An Oakland-based anti-smoking group has begun a statewide campaign to require stores that sell tobacco to be licensed.
The American Lung Association of California began running print ads in newspapers this week. The ads accuse tobacco companies of undermining efforts to keep minors from buying cigarettes by lobbying for store clerks to regulate themselves.
Association spokesman Andy Weisser says the state law barring tobacco sales to those under 18 doesn't have enough muscle.
The Lung Association wants a licensing system similar to the one which regulates stores that sell liquor.
State law prohibits the sale of tobacco to anyone under 18. The clerks who make the sales, not the business owners, are fined $200 for a first offense, $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for a third offense.