This week, the FDA began sending to retailers across the country new educational materials called “This Is Our Watch.” In today’s announcement, the agency indicated that new materials will “provide resources to tobacco retailers to encourage consistent compliance with the federal law that makes it illegal to sell tobacco products to minors.” The free set of materials being mailed to retailers includes a letter to retailers, a poster, register signage, regulation fact sheets, an age verification calendar, and instructions for use.
In response to a question asked by a NATO member, the use of these materials sent by the FDA is voluntary. That is, retailers are not required to utilize the “This Is Our Watch” materials in their stores, but may do so or consider how the materials might be useful to supplement current underage sales training materials that are already being used. Below is a link to the page on the FDA’s website to learn more about the new program and available materials:
On August 4, 2017, the Minneapolis City Council voted 10-2 to adopt an ordinance banning the sale of menthol cigarettes and mint and wintergreen smokeless tobacco products at all retail stores except tobacco shops and licensed liquor stores. This means that over 200 retail stores will be prohibited from selling legal menthol cigarettes and mint and wintergreen smokeless tobacco products. The ordinance is scheduled to take effect on August 1, 2018.
Prior to the adoption of the ordinance, Management Science Associates conducted a study on the potential economic impact of the menthol, mint and wintergreen sales restrictions. The study made the following conclusions:
- Menthol cigarettes currently account for 43% of total cigarette volume and 88% of total menthol tobacco volume in Minneapolis.
- The convenience store channel represents 73% of menthol cigarette volume in...
Connecticut: Senate Bill 1502, the state budget bill that includes a cigarette tax increase of $.45 per pack and a snuff tobacco products tax increase of $2.00 per ounce, passed the Senate and House on October 26, 2017. The bill includes a floor tax; the effective date would be December 1, 2017.
New York: Senate Bill 2543A, which make the restrictions on smoking in public places applicable to electronic cigarettes (exempts retail tobacco businesses and retail electronic cigarette stores), was signed by the Governor on October 23, 2017.
Oklahoma: House Bill 1035a, which would have increased the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack, tax little cigars at the same rate as cigarettes, and raise the tax on chewing tobacco from 60% to 70% of the factory list price, was ...Read more...
The NATO Regional Education Seminar held on August 23, 2017 at the Omni Interlocken Hotel, in Broomfield, Colorado was overflowing with information about FDA regulations, current product trends, market information, and local and state tobacco legislative issues. The speaker line up included FDA Director Mitch Zeller, Don Burke of Management Science Associates, Bonnie Herzog of Wells Fargo Securities, and NATO’s Executive Director Thomas Briant.
The NATO Regional Education seminar was made possible by the generosity of the following sponsors:
Platinum Sponsor: Altria Group Distribution Company
Silver Sponsor: Swisher International
Bronze Sponsors: ITG Brands, LLC and Seneca
Patron Sponsor: Smoker Friendly International
Affiliate Sponsors: Liggett Vector Brands and Prime Time International
The month of September is We Card Awareness Month and is a good time to train new employees or refresh training of current employees on how to properly request identification of individuals desiring to purchase tobacco products in order to prevent the sale of tobacco to underage youth. We Card’s retail store materials for 2018 are now available and can be ordered by visiting www.wecard.org.