- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SONOMA, Calif. (AP) - Sonoma is a step closer to keeping new businesses from selling cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and certain other tobacco products under a proposed law that unanimously passed the first of two city council votes.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/1L5xzXd) the measure would ban businesses from selling e-cigarettes, cheap cigars and most flavored tobacco, and would require them to get a $246 yearly license to remain a tobacco retailer.

Council members are expected to vote for a second time next month. Approval would put the law in effect Sept. 1.

The city began considering a tobacco ordinance last year after an American Lung Association report gave Sonoma an F on its efforts to restrict second-hand smoke.

Tobacco retailers call the measure unfair, but Councilwoman Laurie Gallian says the measure makes tobacco products less attractive and less available to kids.

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Information from: The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, http://www.pressdemocrat.com

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