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.
Pasadena — The Pasadena City Council delayed voting on a possible ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products. The Aug. 16. decision to hit the pause button came after community members requested the council consider the culture of local residents as well as a similar state law.
Previously, members of the council unanimously voted to direct staff to come up with language for legislation banning the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including hookah and menthol cigarettes.
Denver — Local officials are pushing for the city council to band the sale of flavored tobacco products. Denver City Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer and at-large council rep Debbie Ortega support an ordinance that prohibit the sale of all tobacco products — combustible, smokeless and vapor — as well as menthol cigarettes and flavored hookah tobacco.
There are 100 state and local organizations supporting the move.
Springfield — Gov. JB Pritzker signed Senate Bills 512 and 555 into law, establishing regulations on electronic cigarettes by prohibiting marketing that targets children and ensuring retailers' compliance with the state's minimum purchasing age of 21.
"This legislation will make our communities healthier places to live, and most importantly, will save lives," Pritzker said. "I'm proud that Illinois is taking yet another step toward protecting the health and safety of our young residents from tobacco and e-cigarettes and I want to thank Attorney General Raoul, our partners in the General Assembly, as well as the advocates and organizations for their work to make these laws possible."
SB 512 prohibits the use of cartoons, video game characters, and popular children's media to promote e-cigarette products. It also forbids sellers from marketing e-cigarettes as a low-risk product. In order to ensure compliance, the legislation will give the Attorney General's office and law enforcement agencies criminal and civil authority to hold violators accountable.
Additionally, the legislation mandates sellers take additional precautions to ensure the buyer is over 21 years of age, including requiring that online orders are paid through a credit card or a check in the consumer's name. The sale of e-cigarettes containing specific harmful chemicals and additives is also prohibited.
SB 555 amends the Substance Use Disorder Act to include vape shops, allowing the Illinois Department of Human Services to conduct compliance checks on the sale of e-cigarettes in accordance with the minimum purchasing age of 21 years.
Columbia — The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services recommended three options to help curtail youth vapor usage. The recommendations included in a recent report are: ban flavored vaping products; prevent retail vape shops from operating near high schools and middle schools; and raising the tax on electronic cigarettes.