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Tobacco Retailer Licensing

An effective tool for public health

Fact Sheet
Tobacco Prevention

Communities are adopting tobacco retailer licensing (TRL) laws as one way to combat the public health problems associated with tobacco use, reduce tobacco-related health disparities, and ensure compliance with tobacco laws.

TRL laws are effective at limiting youth access to tobacco and provide a framework for implementing and enforcing other tobacco control policies that can advance health equity—including policies to counter predatory tobacco industry tactics that disproportionately target underserved communities. Tobacco retailer licensing also creates a self-financing program that allows for regular enforcement.

ChangeLab Solutions developed this fact sheet to explain how TRL works, why many communities are pursuing this policy, and what goes into creating and implementing a strong TRL law. The 2018 update includes additional information on how TRL can promote innovative policy solutions with the potential to reduce inequities in how tobacco products are marketed and sold in underserved communities.

Be sure to check out our other resources on tobacco retailer licensing, including our Model California Ordinance Requiring a Tobacco Retailer License.