Tackling Tobacco: November 2021 Legislative & Regulatory Roundup

Flavored tobacco products once again dominate regulatory moves.
Melissa Kress
Executive Editor
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Changes in legislation headline

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.


Petaluma — The Petaluma City Council adopted an ordinance setting several new tobacco rules. Among the regulations, the measure bans the sale of flavored tobacco products, requires tobacco retailers to obtain annual licenses, and increases the cost of tobacco products. With the vote, a $10 minimum price will be applied for a pack of cigarettes, little cigars will be $2 per cigar, and regular-sized will cost at least $5, including taxes and fees. The new rules go into effect July 6, 2022.

Walnut Creek — Members of the Walnut Creek City Council voted in favor of a proposal to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco and vapor products in the city. The ban carves out an exemption for adult-only hookah businesses. The new rule includes a five-month enforcement delay from the Nov. 2 vote.


Denver — The Denver City Council approved a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco on first reading on Nov. 30. The council will hold a second and final vote on Dec 6. If approved, the ban — which does not apply to premium cigars and hookah bars — would go into effect in July 2023.


Portland — With a unanimous vote, the Portland City Council's Health & Human Services and Public Safety Committee sent a proposal to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products to the full council for consideration No date has been set for a vote, but it come in December or early next year. If approved, Portland would become the second city in Maine, behind Bangor, to take action against flavored tobacco products.


St. Paul — The St. Paul City Council unanimously approved an ordinance enacting new tobacco regulations. The rules go into effect Dec 3. The new regulations include a $10 minimum price per pack of cigarettes cans of smokeless tobacco; a ban on coupons or promotions on all commercial tobacco products; two classes to tobacco licenses, one for businesses that sell tobacco, like convenience stores, and one for primarily tobacco sales-focused businesses; a distance requirement of a half-mile between tobacco retailers; a ban on the sale of menthol and flavored tobacco products in liquor stores; and a plan to decrease the number of tobacco licenses from 190 to 150.


Hillsboro — The Washington County Board of Commissioners approved a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products across the county. With the move, the county becomes the first in Oregon to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and favored synthetic nicotine products. The measure goes into effect in December.

About the Author

Melissa Kress
Melissa Kress is Executive Editor of Convenience Store News. Read More