By Guest Blogger – Elisa Laird Metke, J.D., ChangeLab Solutions
With cigarettes facing increased regulation and taxation around the world, the tobacco industry is developing an array of new products to hold onto a strong customer base. Last month we described some of the new products emerging from the tobacco industry. What can policymakers do to keep these products from creating new addicts?
Local leaders can pursue various strategies to ban the new products outright or limit access. They can treat nicotine products like tobacco products by requiring a tobacco retailer license to sell them, prohibiting their sale to youth, keeping them behind the counter, and more. They also can limit the number or type of retailers permitted to sell nicotine products. And they can ban small package sizes to make the products more expensive, which makes them less accessible to young people.
Though some of these new products may not be widely available or especially popular yet, it’s worth acting now. Banning these products before they have a toehold in the marketplace makes the laws easier to pass: policymakers will see less opposition from retailers, who won’t have a financial stake in the product yet. It also keeps them out of the hands of new users, most often young people, and prevents current smokers from using the new products to avoid quitting smoking.
To learn more, check out our recorded webinar, here.