Dear [Decision Maker],
I am a resident of the City of Santa Clara and a American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Volunteer. We appreciate the thoughtful effort that has gone into drafting a comprehensiveordinance that will help protect the residents of Santa Clara, who live in multi-unit housing as well as those who utilize parks and other public places from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. But, before you pass the second reading of this important ordinance, we ask that you remove the language that penalizes youth for possession of tobacco. In 2016, at the urging of ACS CAN, the State of California saw fit to remove the penalty against youth who purchase tobacco products. These laws have not been proven to be effective, are disproportionately applied to communities of color, and detract resources from proven tobacco control strategies, such as holding retailers responsible for selling to underage purchasers. We ask that the City of Santa Clara to shift the responsibility back to the retailers and the tobacco industry, and not include penalties for youth possession of tobacco in this ordinance.The U.S. Surgeon General has declared that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can cause serious health effects, especially for the very young, the elderly, or those who are ill.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]