Tackling Tobacco: June 2018 Legislative & Regulatory Roundup
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.
Little Rock — The state legislature's Tax Reform and Relief Task Force voted to study a 15-cent increase in the state's cigarette excise tax. The decision followed a request by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network's recommendation that lawmakers more than double the tax per pack, adding up to $1.50-per-pack hike. The state levy currently sits at $1.15 per pack.
Richfield — The Richfield City Council voted in favor of raising the legal minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 on June 12. The measure went into effect June 21.
Roseville — Add Roseville to the growing list of Minnesota municipalities with Tobacco 21 regulations on the book. On June 18, the Roseville City Council unanimously approved an ordinance setting the legal minimum age to buy tobacco products at 21.
St. Paul — The St. Paul City Council voted in favor of an ordinance that caps the number of tobacco retail licenses at 242. That is the number currently in the city. Council members have been considering the issue since it approved a measure restricting the sales of menthol tobacco products this past fall. That regulation goes into effect Nov. 1.
Dover — With a vote of 6-1, Dover became the first city in New Hampshire to increase the legal minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21. Mayor Karen Weston recused herself from the vote because her family owns a business that sells cigarettes. One council member was absent.
The measure, which also increased the legal age to possess and use tobacco products to 21, will go into effect after the city publishes a public notice in the local media.
Elizabethtown — The Essex County Board of Supervisors failed to pass measure prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 21 years old. Had it passed, the county health department would have overseen enforcement.
Kingston — Ulster County Executive Mike Hein signed Tobacco 21 into law. It will now go into effect Jan. 1. The move came a month after the Ulster County Legislature approved a bill to hike the legal minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21.
Monroe — The Monroe County Legislature will not take up Tobacco 21 legislation. This comes after the county's Legislature's Agenda/Charter Committee voted to defeat legislation that would have increased the legal age to buy tobacco products in the county to 21.
Avon Lake — Local lawmakers approved regulations prohibiting the use of tobacco products in city-owned parks and on city property. The ordinance regulating use in city-owned parks went into effect June 12; the other regulating use on city property will go into effect Jan. 1.
Wickliffe — The municipality's ordinance banning the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 21 went into effect June 28. City council members approved the new age by a 4-3 vote May 29.
Milwaukee — Members of the Common Council unanimously passed a measure that bans the use of electronic cigarettes on city property and in public spaces. The resolution is the final piece of a three-pronged approach to reducing tobacco use in the city. The city first increased the fines for selling tobacco products to minors, and hiked the fines for selling single cigarettes. The second move prohibited the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.