Tobacco and e-cigarette retailers in Clatsop County will soon be required to obtain a new license to sell such products after the County Board of Commissioners approved a proposed ordinance at its meeting on Wednesday.
By requiring the license, the county will now be able to conduct compliance checks, a move that the county believes will help crack down on the sale of tobacco products to persons under 21-years-old. The proposal has been in the works for several months and originally included a ban on flavored tobacco, though that was removed from the version that was passed after retailers objected to it. What did remain was a prohibition on retailers accepting coupons or offering any price discounting, such as a buy two, get one free offer. It also prohibits the distribution of free samples of any tobacco products.
Retailers will face a fine of $500 for a first violation of the ordinance, which then escalates to $2500 for a second violation within 24 months, as well as a 30-day suspension of the license. A third violation has a fine of $5,000 and a 90-day suspension of the license, while a fourth violation comes with a fine of $7,500 and a revocation of the license.
The ordinance goes into effect 30 days from its passage.
Clatsop County is located in the northwest corner of the state and is home to approximately 40,000 residents.