Updated: Feb 13

LOS ANGELES – Calling it a key to protecting children and keeping neighborhoods safe, City Attorney Mike Feuer today launched a new city-wide initiative to keep cigarettes out of the hands of minors.

The City Attorney’s Responsible Retailer Initiative is a collaboration with parents, public health officials and retailers including Ralphs’ and Food4Less, to raise awareness and provide education about preventing tobacco sales to youth. Made possible through a $175,000 grant to the County Department of Public Health from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the program is the latest salvo in Feuer’s ongoing efforts to protect children and enhance the quality of life in Los Angeles neighborhoods.

"Our new initiative will protect kids by empowering parents and engaging retailers in an ongoing program to keep cigarettes out of the hands of minors," said Feuer. "This project goes hand-in-hand with our Neighborhood School Safety Program, which collaborates with key stakeholders to enhance the health and safety of our youth."

"Creating a healthy retail environment benefits everyone. Children who go into convenience stores to buy food and drinks are already confronted with many unhealthy choices. Allowing tobacco and alcohol advertisements that target children to be included in this environment is unacceptable," said Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, Interim Health Officer, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. "The Department of Public Health applauds the efforts of the LA City Attorney’s Tobacco Enforcement program to make our communities safer and healthier for everyone.”

“Ralphs and Food 4 Less are proud to support the Responsible Retailer Initiative as we all work together to build safer, healthier communities, said Kendra Doyel, VP, Public Relations and Government Affairs, Ralphs Grocery Company. “It is our hope that all retailers will join in this effort, supporting our City Attorney Mike Feuer and law enforcement, to make our city a healthier place for our children.”

The City Attorney’s effort includes increasing its compliance checks of tobacco retailers from 446 in Fiscal Year 2013-2014 to 700 i