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    Tackling Tobacco: June 2017 Legislative & Regulatory Roundup

    Regulatory efforts continue through midyear.

    By Melissa Kress, Convenience Store News

    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.

    ILLINOIS

    Lincolnshire — Village trustees recently gave the thumbs up to legislation that would increase the legal minimum buying age for tobacco products to 21. The legal age to possess tobacco products and electronic cigarettes remains 18.

    Lincolnshire is the latest municipality in Lake County to pass Tobacco 21 legislation. Other towns include Deerfield and Highland Park. 

    MASSACHUSETTS

    Harwich — The local board of health has agreed to present a proposal to increase the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. It has rejected several other tobacco regulations proposed in draft form in February, including a ban on blunt wrapped cigars, a minimum cigar package size and price, and flavored tobacco products.

    The board will prepare a final draft and hold a public hearing on the measure on July 11.

    NEW JERSEY

    Trenton — New Jersey legislators are making another attempt to raise the state's legal minimum age to buy tobacco to 21. The current law sets the age at 19. The state Assembly approved the bill by a 53-16 vote on June 23. The state Senate approved it by a 23-14 vote last year. The legislation was sent to Gov. Chris Christie for final approval. He vetoed a similar proposal last year.

    NEW YORK

    Albany — Both chambers of the New York State Legislature passed legislation to add electronic cigarettes and other vapor products to the state's Clean Indoor Air Act. The move, which will prohibit the use of the products in places like bars, restaurants and indoor workplaces, was headed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk. The governor had previously supported the legislation.

    Canton — St. Lawrence County legislators rejected a proposal to raise the legal minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21. The defeated measure leaves the age at 18.

    OHIO

    Powell — The Powell City Council voted to ban the sale of tobacco products to consumers under 21 years old. The 7-0 vote brought the city in line with at least five other Ohio municipalities that have already passed Tobacco 21 legislation.

    Council members also voted to prohibit the cultivation and retail sale of medical marijuana.

    RHODE ISLAND

    Middletown — The Middletown Town Council voted 5-0 in favor an ordinance to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products. The regulation goes into effect Nov. 1.

    In addition to the flavor ban, other tobacco rules approved by the council in June include: tobacco license requirement for retailers; and a ban on deep discounts on tobacco products or special two-for-one promotions.

    Providence — The state Senate Committee on Health and Human Services approved proposed legislation to add electronic cigarettes and vapor products to the state's existing smoking regulations. The bill amends the definition of smoking to include: "electronic smoking devices, electronic nicotine delivery system products, and other products that rely on vaporization or aerosolization."

    By Melissa Kress, Convenience Store News
    • About Melissa Kress Melissa Kress joined EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News in November 2010. Her primary beats include alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Kress has been a professional journalist since 1995. A graduate of West Virginia University, she began her career in community journalism before moving to business-to-business publishing in 2000, covering commercial real estate.

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