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The Tobacco Free Partnership and Students Working Against Tobacco Work to Bring Tobacco Retail Licensing to Clay County
June 16, 2020

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Clay County and Students Working Against Tobacco youth have been working on ways to engage key community leaders and elected officials about Tobacco Retail Licensing.  Taking these steps to educate and inform leaders in Clay County will hopefully lead to policy change and the implementation of some form of Tobacco Retail Licensing locally.

A tobacco retail license is a policy tool like those used to regulate alcohol, pharmacists, and restaurants by state and local governments. As a method to protect public health and safety, local governments are given the opportunity to license tobacco retailers. This would require all businesses that sell tobacco products to obtain and maintain a license from the city or county government for the privilege of selling such products to consumers.

Over the past few years, the SWAT youth have helped with tobacco retail compliance checks. After store audits we noticed the amount of advertising to our community and our youth, as well as the sale of tobacco and Vape products to underage minors with no penalties.

A tobacco retail license would provide local control over tobacco sales without having to enact statewide legislation that the tobacco industry can label as anti-business. Various communities have adopted tobacco retail license laws because they help to limit the negative public health consequences of tobacco use, reduce youth access to tobacco, provide a model for implementing other tobacco control policies, and this produce self-sustaining programs that permit regular enforcement due to annual local fees.

For more information on helping us work in this issue in Clay County, contact Joy Moritz at