Lawmakers consider licenses for businesses that sell tobacco - KPTV - FOX 12

Lawmakers consider licenses for businesses that sell tobacco

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Some citizens are pushing Multnomah County to consider raising legal age to buy tobacco products to 21-years-old. Multnomah County Commissioners are considering forcing businesses that sell tobacco to pay extra for a license if they want to sell any type of tobacco. 

For nearly thirty years Doug Peterson has owned Peterson’s on Yamhill in downtown Portland. He doesn’t like hearing that there could be a license to sell tobacco and e-cigarettes to stop underage kids from picking up the habit. 

Peterson said he already has strict procedures in place to prevent his employees from selling to underage kids.

A recent study by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found the rate of illegal sales of tobacco to minors in Multnomah County is triple the national rate.

A public hearing was held Tuesday morning where commissioners heard from community members about what they would like to see changed. 

One of the youngest that spoke was sixteen year Ori Alon, who’s a junior at a local high school.

Alon said he’s not surprised by the high rate of illegal sales. 

“I think it makes a lot of sense I know a lot of people who own retail stores aren’t educated with the current laws, they don’t know what’s going in social situations. They might think they’re doing the right thing when in fact they’re not,” says Alon.

Alon feels making teens wait a couple of years would make a difference too. 

Alon also said he thinks raising the age limit to 21 would help with the problem too.

While the commissioners haven’t released their proposal yet, they are looking at a possible $350 to $600 license per year for retailers. 

They plan on releasing a rough draft of their proposal sometime next week.

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