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NO MORE CHEAP TOBACCO

The tobacco industry spends over $7 billion dollars a year to keep tobacco prices low because of the overwhelming evidence that cheap products make it more likely youth will get hooked and smokers will have a harder time quitting.

Nearly 70% of tobacco users want to quit; half make an attempt each year; fewer than 10% are successful — but more succeed when fewer cheap products are available. 

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Stock photo. Posed by model.

“We don’t need to have that happen again.”  

— Tobacco industry executive reacting to 1982–83 price increases that caused 2 million adults to quit smoking and kept 600,000 teenagers from starting.

 Comprehensive Tobacco Retail Licenses include each of these requirements that put a stop to Big Tobacco’s pricing schemes. 

MINIMUM PRICE

Teens smoke cigarillos more than cigarettes, at least partially because cigarillos are so much cheaper — under $1! The Surgeon General recommends a $10 minimum price for cigarettes, and a growing number of communities require minimum prices for cigars and cigarettes.

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MINIMUM PACK SIZE

Federal law requires a minimum pack size of 20 for cigarettes to stop stores from selling single cigarettes (aka “loosies”), but cigars are exempted. Single cigars are sold in local stores for well under $1, and packs of 2-6 cigars are nearly as cheap. For this reason, minimum pack size requirements are more effective when combined with minimum price policies. 

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NO TOBACCO COUPONS 

Big Tobacco spends over $300 million a year on coupons and other discounts. Access to tobacco coupons makes youth more likely to become addicted and current smokers more likely to keep smoking. 

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More communities are discovering that not allowing coupons, together with minimum prices and pack sizes, is an effective way to stop every manipulative pricing strategy tobacco companies use to attract youth and keep smokers addicted.