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Statewide Tobacco 21 Grade


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Report Card
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MLSA enforcement in Mississippi is wholly inadequate to prevent unlawful sales to persons under 21. There is no fee associated with the Tobacco Retail License, which only covers cigarette and not e-cigarette sellers. Liberally-applied affirmative defenses shield retailers from monetary penalties or loss of license, and in fact no schedule for license suspension or revocation is outlined in MS code. The law further punishes clerks for selling to underage and youth for purchase, use and possession, but not the retailer who profits from these sales. The Attorney General, using local law enforcement, is the designated enforcement agency, authority that should be transferred to the health department to meet best practices for a model Tobacco 21 law. With no mandated compliance checks in the law, there is ample opportunity and incentive for retailers to sell to youth, and we expect poor compliance rates in the state as a result.

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Tobacco Retail License

Comprehensive statewide Tobacco Retail License covering all tobacco products
Multiple Tobacco Retail Licenses that cover all tobacco products
Tobacco Retail License only covers cigarettes and NOT e-cigarettes
No statewide Tobacco Retail License
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No preemption
Preempted from raising the sales age
Preempted from creating a Tobacco Retail License

All public health is local. Often Big Tobacco works to add preemption to statewide tobacco control bills so cities and counties are unable to enact laws that better protect the public.

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High School Vaping Rate

of High School Seniors have vaped in the past 30 days
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Tobacco Prevention vs. Industry Marketing

Mississippi spends $8.7M in tobacco prevention efforts and the tobacco industry spends $121.4M in marketing. For every $1 spent in prevention, Big Tobacco spends $14 in marketing.

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Tax per pack of cigarettes


E-cigarette tax


State Rank


Higher tobacco taxes are associated with decreases in tobacco use and increases in cessation and lower youth initiation.

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Annual State Healthcare Costs due to Tobacco Use

$1.23 billion

Mississippi In The News

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Other Helpful Resources:

Kids Mississippi

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Our vision: A future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco.”

American Lung Association State Report Card

The ALA ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report tracks progress on key tobacco control policies at the state and federal levels, and assigns grades based on tobacco control laws and regulations in effect as of January 2, 2014.

SLATI State Information Mississippi

SLATI (State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues) is an extensively researched and invaluable source of information on tobacco control laws and policy, and is the only up-to-date and comprehensive summary of state tobacco control laws.

The Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation and the Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids support these four principles for Tobacco 21 ordinances:

  1. Include all tobacco and nicotine products, specifically e-cigarettes. The only exceptions would be FDA recognized nicotine replacement products (gum, patch, etc.) intended for cessation.
  2. Include significant enforcement provisions against illegal sales as research shows that consistent enforcement is of critical importance.
  3. Not include any pre-emption against local authority in more stringent regulation of tobacco or other nicotine product sales, secondhand smoke, or e-cigarette vapor.
  4. Ideally not include possession, usage, or purchase (PUP) penalties that result in criminal records, and instead place the onus on the purveyors of these addictive products.

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