Model Legislation Establishing a Minimum Retail Sales Price for Cigarettes (and Other Tobacco Products)

Model Legislation Establishing a Minimum Retail Sales Price for Cigarettes (and Other Tobacco Products)

An effective tobacco control strategy

The link between retail price and tobacco consumption is well documented.  When cigarettes cost more, fewer people smoke—fewer people start, more people quit, and fewer former users relapse—and those who continue to smoke consume less frequently. As a result, the U.S. Surgeon General and the World Health Organization have both recognized that raising the price of tobacco products is one of the most effective tobacco control strategies.

While excise taxes remain the most often utilized and proven tobacco control pricing strategy, this Model Legislation Establishing a Minimum Retail Sales Price for Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products provides an innovative option for states and local governments where substantial excise tax increases are not politically or legally feasible. This Model Legislation (avaiable for download below) would increase the price of cigarettes and other tobacco products by creating a statutory minimum sales price for these products and eliminating retail price manipulation by the tobacco industry. It contains three options for establishing an effective minimum price, including setting a "flat rate" minimum price and improving an existing "markup-style" minimum price.

Be sure to also check out our resources on tobacco retailer licensing, which is an effective enforcement tool for this and other policies in the retail environment.