NATIONAL REPORT — Tobacco legislation and regulation is constantly under review at the local, state and federal levels. In this monthly roundup, Convenience Store News highlights the latest proposals and approved changes happening across the United States.
Juneau — The Alaska State Senate passed legislation to raise the legal minimum age to buy tobacco products from 19 to 21. The Tobacco 21 proposal would also increase the age to possess and sell tobacco products to 21. The bill would also tax vapor products at 45 percent of the wholesale prove.
The legislation now heads to the Alaska House of Representatives for consideration. If it passes the House, the law would go into effect on July 1, 2023.
Antioch — The Antioch City Council will not enforce its recently approved ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products until Dec. 1. The decision to offer a grace period pushes enforcement past the November vote on a statewide flavored tobacco ban. It also gives tobacco retailers time to sell their inventory. The council approved the ban in March.
San Diego — The San Diego City Council voted in favor of a measure prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco and vapor products. Following the 7-2 tally on April 25, the ban will go into effect Jan. 1, 2023. A referendum banning flavored tobacco sales statewide goes to the voters in November.
Denver — The Colorado House Finance Committee voted in favor of advancing a bill that would ban flavored tobacco and nicotine products. The 7-4 vote moves the proposed legislation to the House Appropriations Committee. The bill would exempt premium cigars, pipe tobacco and all flavored items sold in age-restricted stores.
Bangor — The Bangor City Council is repealing an ordinance that bans the sale of flavored tobacco products because it did not properly notify affected businesses. The council will introduce new measure this summer. The council needs to make the move because state law requires a 30-day direct notice to be given to tobacco licensees when a municipality considers an ordinance that is stricter than state law. The ordinance was slated to go into effect June 1.
Brunswick — The Brunswick Town Council unanimously approved an ordinance prohibiting the sale and distribution of flavored tobacco and nicotine products. The ban includes menthol cigarettes. With the vote, Brunswick becomes the third municipality in Maine to approve a flavored tobacco ban. The new rule goes into effect June 1.