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License to Kill?

A legal synopsis about tobacco retailer licensing as enforcement

Legal Memo
Tobacco Prevention

This law synopsis written by Ian McLaughlin, Senior Staff Attorney and Program Director, examines ways in which state and local officials can use licensure to enforce tobacco tax and point-of-sale laws, and control the location and concentration of tobacco retailers. It can be used by cities and counties that wish to require a local tobacco retailer license as a way to ensure compliance with local business standards, to reduce youth access to tobacco, and to limit the negative public health effects associated with tobacco use.

Included are overviews of innovative local tobacco retailer (TRL) programs in California, New York, and Massachusetts, and describes creative ways in which licensing can be used to impose restrictions on the sale and promotion of tobacco products. California communities interested in requiring a local tobacco retailer license should see our TRL fact sheets, model ordinance, and supplemental plug-ins.