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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS

Costa Mesa

May 10, 1999|Elise Gee, (949) 574-4275

The youth group Speak Out is one step away from getting an ordinance passed that would prohibit self-service tobacco displays. The group of Estancia High School students took on the task about a year ago through a Camp Fire Boys and Girls Club program. The ordinance had been shot down last year when Peter Buffa sat on the City Council. Speak Out waited until Linda Dixon had been elected to reapproach the council; she provided the swing vote last week, voting with the 3-2 majority to approve the first reading of the more "business friendly" ordinance. Mayor Gary Monahan and Councilman Joe Erickson voted no.

Under the proposed ordinance, it would be illegal for businesses to sell tobacco products through self-service displays or vending machines. Instead, cigarettes and other tobacco products must be sold by a person. To make the ordinance more business friendly, exceptions were made for tobacco shops, cigar lounges and some other businesses specializing in tobacco sales.

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