Sacramento assemblyman proposes ban on tobacco coupons

The tobacco fight may be a back and forth between government and corporations, but small business owners seem to be hurting the most. (April 21, 2017)

Last fall, after a $100 million fight between the tobacco industry and health groups, Californians voted to increase the tax on cigarettes by $2.

Increasing the cost of tobacco reduces the amount of people who use it, according to the American Cancer Society, especially in children or young adults. 

So, how did the tobacco industry respond to that April 1 tax increase? With coupons, of course. 

The company behind Marlboro sent a mass email to customers, The New York Times reports, with the subject line, “What Prop 56 Means for You” and three coupon offers for tobacco products through June. 

Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D - Sacramento) said in a statement that these types of coupons are a "deadly promotional tactic" used to "trick consumers into becoming long term addicts." He's introduced a bill that would prohibit California tobacco retailers from accepting these coupons.

A similar bill is moving through New York's state house. New York City, Chicago, Berkeley and San Jose already have this rule, according to McCarty's office. 

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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