Nob Hill to halt tobacco sales, accept honor from local officials

The Hollister Nob Hill is set to end tobacco sales and will be honored by the city and public health next week.

Hollister’s Nob Hill is pulling all tobacco products from its shelves in the coming weeks. To recognize the local grocer, Mayor Ignacio Velazquez and the county health department next week will hold an event recognizing the store for its effort.
Raley’s in late November announced to employees its plans to remove tobacco products from company shelves in February, said Kristi Jones, one of the head clerks at the Hollister Nob Hill. The company is following other major retailers, particularly those with pharmacies, in halting tobacco sales. A Raley’s spokesperson could not be reached immediately before publication to clarify the reach of the tobacco ban in company stores.
San Benito County’s relatively new Public Health Officer Anju Goel has been pushing to ban tobacco sales in all local pharmacies as well.
Among her plans, she has said she wants to follow the lead of San Francisco, which became the first American city to ban sales of tobacco products in pharmacies in 2008 upon request from the mayor and a San Francisco board approval, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Goel noted that San Benito County historically has made efforts to curb smoking and underscored a drop in the latest data for teen smoking—from 15.4 percent of the teen population in 2008 to 13.8 percent in 2010.
As for the local event, it is set for 9 a.m. Thursday at Nob Hill, said Samela Perez, spokeswoman for the public health department.
Raley’s is a private West Sacramento-based company that owns and operates 128 grocery stores under the names Raley’s, Nob Hill, Bel Air and Food Source in California and Nevada. Its annual revenue is $3 billion, according to the Raley’s website.
Jones at the Hollister Nob Hill, though, was pleased about the change. She noted how she has a brother-in-law with lung cancer.
“We sell the tobacco, but it’s not a big portion of what we do,” Jones said. “So I’m very proud of this company for that.”
Velazquez said the local Nob Hill is “taking the lead” on an important issue. He stressed that the city itself is not trying to pass any related legislation.
“As a pharmacy, they’re there to help people and not make them worse,” Velazquez said.

Leave your comments