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New Website Focuses on Local Tobacco Restrictions

MINNEAPOLIS — A new website was launched last year to respond to the growing number of local tobacco restrictions being proposed around the United States. This website is known as TOTAL, or Tobacco Ordinances: Take Another Look.

The website’s purpose is focused on providing factual information to lawmakers and the public about the legal sale of tobacco products and the nonretail sources that underage youth regularly rely on to obtain the products.

Also, the website is designed to help retailers with the information they need to respond to proposed tobacco restrictions. The site includes viewable and downloadable information sheets on coupon-redemption bans, flavored-tobacco-product bans, local cigarette and OTP taxes, prohibitions on promotionally priced products, raising the legal age to buy tobacco products, cigar-pack size and minimum pricing requirements, “social sources,” the cause and effect of local tobacco ordinances, the negative outcomes associated with the adoption of local ordinances, and alternatives to adopting additional restrictions on the retail sale of tobacco products.

In addition, the website includes a new video titled Wake Up or Pay Up, which is about local flavored-tobacco bans. The message in the video is important because retailers need to educate their local elected officials about how they responsibly sell tobacco products and the effect of sales restrictions or bans on legal flavored tobacco products.

To watch the new video, click here.

Retailers are encouraged to visit the TOTAL website and view all the information that is available to assist in responding to proposed local ordinances. Local lawmakers need to understand that retailers are a part of the solution in preventing underage access to tobacco products and that there are alternatives to consider rather than the adoption of more restrictions or prohibitions on the sale of legal tobacco products.

Author(s): 
Thomas A. Briant

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