What is preemption, and why does it matter for countering tobacco marketing and sales at retail locations? Preemption is when the authority of one level of government to regulate an issue is limited by a higher level of government.This means that in some places, for example, when local municipal or county governments want to pass legislation to strengthen tobacco retail licensing requirements, a state law may supersede their new legislation, rendering it powerless in enforcement.
Enacting polices at the local level is one of the best ways to make progress in tobacco control. But the tobacco industry often pursues preemptive legislation to stop local governments from passing more stringent standards. This can impact efforts to restrict youth access to tobacco products, regulation of tobacco retailers, restrictions on tobacco advertising and promotions, and other point of sale issues.
Language indicating ‘preemptive intent’ can be included in policies in a number of ways, both expressly and implicitly. If you’re considering a grass-roots campaign to address point-of-sale issues, knowing the tobacco control laws at state and federal levels will guide and help you target your efforts. If you’re unsure, attorneys can help!
Check out these fact sheets from the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium and ChangeLab Solutions for more info: