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    Fla. Mulls Tobacco Restrictions

    Mandatory behind-the-counter regulations under consideration by Port Orange City Council.

    PORT ORANGE, Fla. -- The City Council here is considering joining other communities to keep tobacco products at retail outlets out of easy reach.

    The council said last week in the wake of an appeal from a trio of local students headed by Anthony Roberts, all members Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT), reports the Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal.

    Roberts said SWAT is seeking adoption of ordinances requiring retail stores to keep tobacco products behind counters or out of customers' reach. Letters of support for the effort also were presented, including one from William Poniatowski, chairman of the Volusia County School District's Safe and Drug Free Schools Advisory Council.

    According to Gloria Luther, Volusia County Health Department tobacco prevention coordinator, one goal of the ordinance is to reduce the possibility of theft of tobacco products by youngsters. The 1,500 or so students in Volusia County, who are members of SWAT, "are defending their own generation" and deserve of support, Luther said.

    The council agreed to have the proposed ordinance placed on the May 25 council agenda.

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