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.
Wichita — The Wichita City Council approved tobacco ordinance changes, including holding tobacco retailers and managers initially responsible for underage sales, rather than penalizing individual employees.
Now, license holders and store managers can be charged with a class B misdemeanor, punishable by a $200 minimum fine, if they are present when the illegal sale takes place. Clerks will only be charged on a second or subsequent offense after receiving a warning for the first offense.
Carson City — Tobacco sales would be illegal in Nevada beginning Jan. 1, 2030, under provisions of a bill at the Nevada Legislature.
Under the proposal, the ban would occur in steps that include prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products and shutting down smoking for people just turning 21, beginning on Jan. 1, 2024. It would also slowly ban licenses for cigarette machines until the total ban in 2030.
Concord — A bill to remove the exemption for premium cigars from the tobacco tax failed to pass the New Hampshire House of Representatives in late March. Under the failed proposal, cigars would have been subject to the same tax as other tobacco products in the state.
Albany — The New York State Legislature rejected a proposal to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products, which would have included menthol. The proposal was first announced in February as part of Gov. Kathy Hochul's 2023-2024 fiscal year budget.
Convenience stores retailers were among opponents who argued a ban wouldn't drive people to stop smoking. The legislature did decide to keep a dollar increase in the excise tax on cigarettes, from $4.35 to $5.35.
Montpelier — The Vermont State Senate approved a bill banning the retail sale of flavored tobacco cigarettes (including menthol), other tobacco products, vapor products and e-liquids.