A bold step for Colorado
On Monday night, 6/12/2017, Aspen, CO became the first locality in the state to pass a comprehensive Tobacco 21 law. The ordinance also contains a Tobacco Retail License for all tobacco products: cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and all other tobacco products. Aspen takes a bold step in enacting a comprehensive TRL in conjunction with the Sales Age increase to 21. The State of Colorado enacted CRS 39-22-623 in 1987, burying the statute under Income Tax, Procedure and Administration.
“Effective July 1, 1987, an amount equal to twenty-seven percent of the gross state cigarette tax shall be apportioned to incorporated cities and incorporated towns which levy taxes and adopt formal budgets and to counties.”
“The city or town share shall be apportioned according to the percentage of state sales tax revenues collected by the department of revenue in an incorporated city or town as compared to the total state sales tax collections that may be allocated to all political subdivisions in the state; the county share shall be the same as that which the percentage of state sales tax revenues collected in the unincorporated area of the county bears to total state sales tax revenues which may be allocated to all political subdivisions in the state.”
“In order to qualify for distributions of state income tax moneys, units of local government are prohibited from imposing fees, licenses, or taxes on any person as a condition for engaging in the business of selling cigarettes or from attempting in any manner to impose a tax on cigarettes.”
Preemption with a bonus
CRS 39-22-623 is a preemption on licensing cigarettes. This preemption promotes the sale of cigarettes to cities and counties to receive a greater portion of gross state cigarette tax. Aspen’s action to defy state statute for the public’s health is valiant.
*It should be noted that Edgewater, CO has also fully licensed all tobacco products; the first and only other city in the state.
Check out the article below from the Aspen Daily News for a local perspective.
June 13, 2017
Assembly Appropriations Committee votes 7-3, passing onto General Assembly and then Governor Christie’s desk.
As many state legislative sessions are drawing to a close, New Jersey has reawakened state-level momentum toward increasing the Minimum Legal Sales Age to 21. New Jersey has attempted to increase the sales age of all tobacco products before. Last year, the same measure passed the assembly and sat on the Governor’s desk, leaving the sales age at 19.
This year, we are hoping that the assembly will again vote to protect kids in the State of New Jersey. Additionally, Governor Christie will need to recognize the aspiration of his state and constituents to protect their youth from smoking. Improved health outcomes and lower spending on morbidity and mortality associated with tobacco use will offset most tobacco tax revenue loss.
To quote the champion of tobacco 21 in Washington State, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, “Are we really balancing our budget on the backs of teenage smokers?”
If Governor Christie signs NJ A2320, New Jersey will become the third state in the nation with a tobacco 21 law. Oregon and Washington still have viable tracks for success this session. Keep your eyes out for more T21 news!
Tobacco 21 is gaining traction in Minnesota. With the passing of Tobacco 21 in Edina, Duluth is feeling the pressure on their reputation. Duluth, Minnesota has long been a leader in tobacco control efforts in the state. Because of Edina’s success, the Duluth News Tribune’s Editorial Board has urged the city and state to pursue expanded efforts for Tobacco 21. Drawing even more local support into the movement in Minnesota.
ClearWay Minnesota is paving the way for Tobacco 21 in the state. Last winter, ClearWay published a study in Minnesota Medicine showing that T21 could reduce youth initiation by 25%. Active public health organizations such as ClearWay set a great example for other states looking to protect the health of their youth.
The op-ed also looks at the costs of tobacco use among all Minnesota residents; $554 a year for everyone in the state.
Local action creates results; congratulations again to Edina. We are sure their hard work and results will continue to protect young Minnesotans from tobacco use. With continued local efforts, Minnesota has a path to success in implementing Tobacco 21 statewide!
Check out the link below for the full story from The Duluth News Tribune
May 7-13 is Public Servant Recognition Week. Without our Public Servants, our mission at the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation and Tobacco 21 would not be possible. In many of the places that we work with, our main contact is a public servant interested in improving the health of their community through tobacco control laws.
The next time you step outside and take a breath of clean air, drink a glass of clean water, go swimming in a lake or beach that isn’t contaminated, walk into a smoke-free workplace, airplane or restaurant, remember to thank a public servant!
A big thank you to all public servants from the PTAF and T21 team around the country.
Make sure to check out our advocacy materials to see how you can make your city, county, or state a Tobacco 21 locality.
May 7, 2017
Last week, the FDA suspended increased regulation on the e-cigarette and cigar industry. These regulations will hold e-cigarette juice and cigar manufacturers responsible for listing ingredients that are in their products. Additionally, the use of “light”, “low”, or “mild” would be disallowed.
The public health community is concerned with the current direction of the FDA and current administration. Delaying regulation and research on these harmful products pushes the vapor and tobacco industry into a more powerful position. Certainly, the connection between administration officials to the tobacco industry is a troubling foresight of what could come down the regulatory pipeline in the next 4 years for tobacco control.
Read The Gazette story below for a more in-depth look into the suspended federal regulations.
May 2, 2017