NATIONAL REPORT – Tobacco laws and regulations are constantly revised at the local, state and federal levels. In this monthly overview, Convenience store news highlights the latest proposals and approved changes happening in the United States.
Long beach – Long Beach City Council unanimously approved a permanent ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products. The ban includes menthol. The city’s previous ban expired in January.
Enforcement of the ban will begin in three months, giving retailers time to sell their inventory. The exemptions include hookah and lounge products, pipe tobacco, and some cigars.
Los Angeles – Los Angeles City Council is considering a proposal to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, making an exception for certain sales of shisha tobacco.
The ban would include menthol cigarettes, but creates an exception for existing and legally operated smoker’s lounges that sell shisha tobacco. Council members voted in favor of asking the city attorney to start drafting the measure.
Bridgeport – Bridgeport City Council has dropped an offer to ban flavored tobacco products. The move came after state lawmakers failed to pass a statewide ban in the last legislative session.
A local flavor ban, which council passed earlier this year, would have made Bridgeport the first municipality in Connecticut to enact a ban.
Red Stick – Governor John Bel Edwards enacted the state’s tobacco measure 21 on June 16. State Representative Buddy Mincey (R-71st District) drafted the bill to raise the legal minimum age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21.
Columbia Heights – Columbia Heights City Council has approved an ordinance banning in-store sampling of tobacco products. The law comes into force in January. The measure also set the legal minimum age for purchasing tobacco products at 21, in accordance with state and federal regulations.
Olivia – The Renville County Council of Commissioners passed a measure setting new penalties for violations of the Tobacco Act 21. Under the new ordinance, licensees would be fined $ 300 for a first time. offense; $ 600 for a second offense within 36 months; and $ 1,000 for a third offense within 36 months.
The new penalties bring the county ordinance in line with the state.
Spotsylvania – Spotsylvania’s supervisory board voted 5-2 in favor of a 30-cent tax on a pack of cigarettes. The new levy is expected to bring in $ 310,000 in income per year. The cigarette tax came into effect on July 1. The measure restricts cigarette sales to registered and licensed retail stores only.
The board of directors also voted to nominate the county as a member of the Northern Virginia Cigarette Tax Board, which will collect taxes and handle enforcement.
The District of Columbia – By an 8-5 vote, the District of Columbia Council approved a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. The legislation is now heading to Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, who is expected to sign it. The measure exempts bars and restaurants that offer hookah.