Tackling Tobacco: July 2023 Legislative & Regulatory Roundup

A city in California updates its tobacco retailer ordinance, while Ohio and Wisconsin experience tobacco bills with last-minute favorable outcomes.
Regulations and rules

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.


Concord — The Concord City Council updated its Tobacco Retailer Ordinance, which now prohibits tobacco retailers in the city from selling tobacco products through self-service displays, via mobile vending (including Internet sales), any type of flavored tobacco products except onsite-use hookah products and flavored cigars costing $12 or more.

In addition, cigars must be sold in a package of at least 10 and at least $10 per package; single cigars may be sold at a price of at least $5. Cigarettes must be sold in a package of at least 20 and at a price of at least $10.

The regulations take effect on Oct. 11 and will be actively enforced by the Concord Police Department.

Sacramento — A bill enforcing the state flavor ban in the same manner as underage sales passed the California Senate Governance and Finance Committee and referred to the state Senate Appropriations Committee on July 5.


Peoria — In early July, the Peoria City Council agreed to a temporary moratorium on granting tobacco licenses while city leaders consider limiting the number of standalone tobacco/vape shops in the city.

The moratorium will last up to 90 days, although Mayor Rita Ali said the moratorium may end sooner if the council is able to act on a yet-to-be crafted proposal for tighter regulations.

The moratorium will not affect four previously pending tobacco license applications.


Boston — Several tobacco-related bills were heard in the state Joint Committee on Public Health on July 6. They included bills that would exempt from the statewide flavor ban any tobacco product that receives a marketing order from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); a bill that repeals the state menthol ban; a bill that requires retailers that sell tobacco products to offer for sale at least one nicotine replacement therapy, drug, device or combination product that has been approved by the FDA for tobacco-cessation use; and a bill that provides that no manufacturer or retailer shall sell, distribute or cause to be distributed a tobacco product to a consumer, except in an adult-only retail tobacco store or in a smoking bar.


Columbus — A budget bill initially included language to establish state preemption over local tobacco ordinances; however, Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed this item on July 3.