Inyo County minors will have a tough time getting hooked on nicotine if the measures
the Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday are effective.
Currently, it’s against the law to sell tobacco products to minors. The new ordinance
bans flavored vaping products across the board, requires a minimum packaging of 20 for small
cigars and puts a minimum cost of $8 per pack on cigarettes and small cigars. With the existing
$2.87 tax per pack, that raises the cost to $10.87. Cigars, not classified as “small,” will have a
minimum cost of $5.
The Board will vote on adoption of the ordinance at its March 10 meeting. If approved,
the bill goes into effect September 20.
The enforcement element of the pricing requirements is in the form of a new Tobacco
Retail License ordinance.
According to Anna Scott, deputy director of public health, Inyo teens smoke at a rate
three times the average. The statistic was based on a survey of 9 th and 11 th grades at Bishop and
Lone Pine high schools.
The required sale price was based on a survey indicating the average cost of a pack of
smokes was $8.75, or $5.68 plus the $2.87 tax. With passage of the ordinance, that costs pops
up more than $2.
The City of Bishop enacted regulations on the sale of vaping products four years ago.
Scott told the Board she intends to encourage both the City and Tribal Councils to enact a