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Sonoma tobacco restriction law passes first council vote
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SONOMA (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 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.