Guest opinion: Granby acts to restrict youth access to tobacco
November 20, 2014
On Nov. 11, the Granby Town Board voted in favor of changing town municipal code to restrict minors' access to tobacco and nicotine products. This new policy prohibits self-service displays (including e-cigarettes and cigarillos), minors stocking or selling tobacco or nicotine products, and product giveaways. It also requires proof of age through positive identification at the time of purchase.
The passage of this ordinance is a result of tireless work of Grand Futures Prevention Coalition and the Grand County Teen Council who presented their Photo Voice project "How tobacco retail establishments affect youth."
Teen Council seniors presented their projects at the Oct. 14 Granby Town Board meeting, bringing up issues that the town board had not previously seen. One of the teens got up and stated that the day after she turned 18, she went into one of the retail establishments and purchased a cigarillo, which she retrieved for herself, and was not asked for identification. Upon hearing this, straight from a youth in their community, they realized the severity of the issue and the lack of regulation on such a deadly product.
The town took ownership of enforcement and education of this new policy. The town clerk agreed to create signage for each retail establishment indicating the change in town code to be hung in their building. The chief of police also agreed to visit each tobacco retail business and ensure they are abiding by the new code. Granby is committed to limiting the youth's access to tobacco and nicotine products and ensure that our children are living healthy, drug-free lives.
This ordinance is a result of strong partnerships between STEPP funded grantees, youth, city officials, and community members .
Megan McCord is the executive director of the Grand Futures Prevention Coalition. For more information about this ordinance, contact her at email@example.com