Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

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Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, For media inquiries only, (510) 981-7008

WITH BIG TOBACCO STILL MARKETING TO KIDS, LET'S TALK ABOUT HEALTH EFFECTS
Open discussions with our kids can help them make healthy choices

Berkeley, California (Thursday, March 18, 2021) - Help kids and teens make healthy choices about tobacco use by talking with your children about the risks of smoking, vaping, and flavored tobacco.

Misconceptions about the dangers of these habits are prevalent among young people everywhere, but parents and caregivers can help change that through open discussions about the health effects of tobacco products.

Talking with kids about healthy choices

For tips on starting a conversation with your child about tobacco, Berkeley Public Health recommends guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Talk directly to children about the risks of tobacco use. If friends or relatives died from tobacco-related illnesses, let your kids know.

  • Start the dialog about tobacco use at age 5 or 6 and continue through their high school years. Many kids start using tobacco by age 11, and many are addicted by age 14.

  • Know if your kids’ friends use tobacco. Talk about ways to refuse tobacco.

  • Discuss with kids the false glamorization of tobacco on billboards and in other media, such as movies, TV, and magazines.

The California Department of Public Health website has a number of resources about flavored tobacco and other educational materials you can use to support conversations with children.

Youth in Berkeley concerned about vaping, flavored tobacco, and tobacco ads

In a recent focus group, middle and high school students in Berkeley told us that they and their peers need to hear more about the dangers of flavored tobacco and vape products, and that persistent advertising and access to these products can affect their decisions.

We heard from young people that:

  • They need to have more conversations about the dangers of flavored tobacco, with youth reporting that their peers “think smoking is bad for them but that vaping isn’t.”

  • They feel targeted by flavored tobacco, sharing that “any flavored substance kind of targets a younger audience more, as if it were like candy - instead of actually being aware of what you’re putting into your body.”

  • They feel inundated by tobacco advertising throughout the Bay Area, saying “Every time I’m on the road, there’s always billboards. They catch my eye first because they’re really bright colors, and then once I start reading it, I realize what it’s selling.”

  • They’re affected by the prevalence and placement of tobacco products in stores, telling us “you don’t have to look for it, it finds you” and “it’s in your eyesight, so even if you don’t want it, it’s in your mind already.”

Flavored tobacco ordinance helps support healthy choices

These focus group findings emphasize the importance of public policy that discourages tobacco use during adolescence, a key age when lifetime habits can become ingrained. With flavors like “gummy bear”, “cotton candy”, and “cherry dynamite,” and some products costing less than a candy bar, flavored tobacco can be an on-ramp for youth to ongoing tobacco use in adulthood.

Last year, the City adopted a new flavored tobacco ordinance, building on previous legislation prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products within 600 feet of any school in Berkeley. The law, which went into effect in April 2020:

  • prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco products including menthol
  • prohibits the sale of single tobacco products
  • sets a minimum package size for cigars and cigarillos
  • imposes minimum price requirements for tobacco products

This ordinance supports the ongoing work of Berkeley Public Health to make Berkeley a safer and healthy place for everyone - including our young people - by encouraging healthy choices, preventing unhealthy habits, and giving our kids the best chance for a healthy, successful future.

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