NATO Talks Tobacco Taxes

As of June 28, 2013, three states have enacted either cigarette and/or tobacco tax rate increases or decreases, reports the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO). The new tax law changes and the respective effective dates are as follows: * Kentucky:House Bill 361 was passed and signed into law which lowers the state tax on

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FDA Issues Fact Sheet On Tobacco Warnings

Six violations in 48 months could result in a $10,000 fine. The FDA has issued a one-page fact sheet titled “Overview:  Tobacco Retailer Warning Letters.” The fact sheet explains why warning letters are issued to tobacco retailers, what a retailer needs to do if a warning letter is received and what FDA tobacco regulations apply

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Omaha Seeks 7% Occupation Tax On Tobacco Products

All tobacco products from cigarettes to OTP, including e-cigarettes, and even smoking devices like pipes, would be impacted by the tobacco taxation. The Omaha, Neb. City Council is introducing an ordinance today that if adopted would require an “occupational privilege tax” on tobacco retailers equal to 7% of the gross receipts from the sale of

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FDA Announces New Compliance Check Inspection Notice

If a minor succeeds in purchasing a regulated tobacco product during a compliance inspection, the FDA will now send the retailer a “Compliance Check Inspection Notice” after the inspection occurs. Last week, during an FDA-hosted compliance training Webinar for retailers, the FDA announced it plans to use a new Compliance Check Inspection Notice if a

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TTB Addresses RYO Cigarette Machine Ruling

Anyone manufacturing tobacco products without first obtaining the necessary permit is subject to civil and/or criminal penalties.  The federal Alcohol, Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) issued an announcement regarding the impact of the Aug. 20 ruling on RYO cigarette machines by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the National Association

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Maintaining Strong Cigar Sales

Despite a demand from adult consumers, retailers are continually forced to defend their right to sell flavored cigars responsibly. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor While tobacco has long been a bread-and-butter product for convenience stores, accounting for millions in individual unit sales and boosting the profits from the average smoker’s market basket, it remains a

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RYO Machine Regulation Takes Effect

Commercial RYO machine operators must comply with the new rules effective immediately. On Friday, July 6, President Barack Obama signed the transportation bill, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, into law. The bill included a provision that defines commercial RYO machine operators as tobacco manufacturers under federal law.  This means

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RYO Regulation Passed

House members voted 373 to 52 in favor of the bill and Senate members voted 74 to 19 to pass the legislation. On Friday, June 29, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate voted to pass a transportation bill that included commercial RYO regulation, the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) reported. The

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RYO Amendment In Congressional Bill

The House and Senate Conference Committee version of the transportation bill containing the RYO amendment must be voted on by both the full House and the full Senate this week. A new RYO machine amendment has been included in a Congressional transportation bill, the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) reported. The U.S. House and

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FDA Scrutiny Clouds Cigar Outlook

While flavored and pre-priced cigar sales are booming, FDA’s pending regulation of the category could upset trends and profits. by Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Tedeschi Food Shops does a strong cigar business, and with 3-4 feet of space reserved for cigars on the back bar, consumers take notice. Sales on cigars were up for the

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Prop 29 Fails In California

No tobacco tax hike in California. Proposition 29, a ballot question that would have increased the California cigarette tax by $1 per pack and raised other tobacco products’ excise tax on an equivalent basis, was not passed by voters in a June 5 California election, the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) reported. The failure

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Decoding Haverstraw’s Questionable Tobacco Display Ban

With various federal laws banning or limiting certain cigarette product advertising, cigarette packaging itself has become a commercially accepted form of advertising. By John Lofstock, Editor. In early April, the Village of Haverstraw, N.Y., adopted a first-of-its-kind ordinance in the U.S. that requires retailers to keep tobacco out of public view. To learn more about

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FDA Announces Intent to Regulate OTP

FDA expects to issue a deeming regulation in summer 2012 to cover other tobacco products. Cigars, e-cigs and cigarillos are among tobacco products about to meet with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scrutiny. The agency has announced its intent to issue a “deeming regulation” sometime during the summer of 2012 to cover other tobacco

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GAO Suggests Equalizing Tobacco Tax Rates

A new report finds shift in using pipe versus roll-your-own tobacco and large cigars versus small cigars to avoid hefty taxes. This week, the federal Government Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report titled “Large Disparities in Rates for Smoking Products Trigger Significant Market Shifts to Avoid Higher Taxes.” The document shows the impact of the

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Cigarette Warning Labels Upheld By Appeals Court

Following a federal court decision that graphic warning labels were unconstitutional, an appellate court has ruled that requiring cigarette warning labels are not a violation of free speech, rather they fall under commercial speech disclosures, are disclosing the health risks of cigarettes and are reasonably related to the government’s interest of preventing the deception of

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Navigating OTP’s Legal Battleground

The prospects for OTP throughout 2012 are good, as growth remains strong. But a swelling number of revenue-strapped state legislatures continue to hungrily eye the category. “I think the category will continue to expand,” predicted Matt Hieb, category manager for Gate Petroleum, which operates 225 convenience stores in six Southeastern states.“The growth of the brands

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FDA Appeals Federal Court Tobacco Ruling

Administration continues to push for graphic warning labels on cigarette packages. Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration appealed the February 29, 2012  decision issued by Federal District Court Judge Richard Leon which held that the FDA’s new graphic images and text warnings for cigarette packaging and cigarette advertisements violate free speech protections under the First

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NATO Announces Initiative To Combat Local Ordinances

Free sign up date for the April 2012 NATO Show extended. The National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) launched a new initiative in response to the wave of local ordinances being proposed in cities in Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, Illinois, Pennsylvania and other states.  “These local ordinance are the latest in the attempt by the anti-tobacco

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Lawsuit Aims To Protect Promotion and Sale of Legal Tobacco Products

Trade associations and seven tobacco manufacturers team to fight tobacco ordinances. On Tuesday, Feb. 14, the National Association of Tobacco Outlets Inc. (NATO), the Cigar Association of America Inc. (CAA), along with Lorillard Tobacco Co., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., American Snuff Company, Philip Morris USA Inc., U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Manufacturing Co. LLC, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco

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FDA To Reveal Time of Inspection In Letters

Warning letters to note the time of day an inspection took place following NATO request. Going forward, the FDA plans to include the time a retail compliance inspection occurred in warning letters sent to retailers, National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) reported. The FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) sent a letter, dated Feb. 1,

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Smokeless Sales Show No Signs of Dipping

Enhancing variety will continue to be a key for this high growth category. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Sales of smokeless tobacco products keep increasing and convenience store operators are enjoying the ride. But keeping that graph line headed north means keeping a wary eye on proposed federal regulations, keeping sets fresh, properly allocating shelf

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Tobacco Retailers Get an “A” For FDA Compliance

NATO encourages FDA to issue letters of compliance to the tobacco retailers that pass compliance inspections, as positive reinforcement. More than 96% of tobacco retailers inspected by federal contractors in 38 states and the District of Columbia were found to be in compliance with new tobacco regulations designed to prevent the sale of tobacco products

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FDA’s Requirement For Graphic Images on Cigarette Packs Blocked

A Federal Judge strikes down FDA’s graphic image requirement on packs of cigarettes until the lawsuit is resolved. A judge has blocked a federal mandate that would require tobacco companies to add graphic images to cigarette packages in 2012, the Associated Press reported. On Monday, Nov. 7, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled cigarette manufacturers

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Adding a Spark to Tobacco Sales

Customized and novelty lighters offer customers an opportunity to express themselves. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. In simpler times, lighters were used chiefly as a means to an end—lighting up a cigarette, birthday candles or even restarting an oven. Today, however, with the growth of the tobacco accessories category, lighters have become an end in

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Tobacco Companies Fight Warning Labels

Hearing underway in U.S. Federal District Court on cigarette health warnings. Yesterday, Sept. 21, a hearing took place before U.S. Federal District Court Judge Richard Leon on a lawsuit filed by five tobacco manufacturers seeking a preliminary injunction against the implementation of the FDA’s new text and graphic picture warning labels for cigarette packages and

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