Blue Ridge Now,
April 16, 2017-
The Henderson County Board of Health passed a resolution Tuesday requesting the North Carolina General Assembly rescind preemption of tobacco regulation to restore local control over its policies. The seven board members present at the monthly meeting passed the measure unanimously in a symbolic move. “Research shows that the strongest, most innovative and most effective tobacco control policies have most often originated at the local level,” according to background information included with the resolution. “However, preemptive legislation at the state level prevents local communities in North Carolina from passing most tobacco control policies related to the retail environment.”
If preemption were lifted, localities would have the ability to increase the minimum legal sales age, as well as to institute tax strategies to increase the cost of tobacco, the resolution continues. Henderson County follows a handful of others that have passed such resolutions, including Orange County, and a joint resolution from Rutherford, McDowell and Polk counties.