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The Local Tobacco Regulatory Landscape

November 28, 2015

Convenience Store and Fuel News

November 25, 2015

By Thomas A. Briant

The local regulatory movement against tobacco products began some 26 years ago in 1989 when the city council of White Bear Lake, Minn., became the first city in the country to ban the sale of cigarettes through vending machines. As the local regulatory effort spread across the country and more cigarette vending machines ended up either in dumps or as collector items in basement rec rooms, the focus switched in the mid-1990’s to restrictions on self-service displays, especially in retail stores that allowed minors to be present. These kind of restrictions fall into a broad category of how tobacco products are displayed or sold.

Over the past five years, the local emphasis has changed to restrict where tobacco products are sold, what kind of pricing and promotions may be offered, what products can legally be sold, and what is the minimum legal age to purchase tobacco products.

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