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News Summary

Local control of tobacco considered

Publication Date: 2008-01-20
  • Author:Terry Woster
  • Publication:Sioux Falls (SD) Argus-Leader

Some lawmakers think not having the state regulate would lead to confusion

A bill to let cities and counties regulate smoking, the ultimate in local control to some legislators, is a blueprint for confusion to others.

A bill introduced in the House would let cities and counties regulate "use, distribution, marketing, promotion and sale of tobacco." The local ordinances could be more restrictive than the state's but could not threaten enforcement of the master settlement that provides the state millions of dollars each year from the major tobacco companies.

Current law says the Legislature "is the exclusive regulator of all matters relating to the use of tobacco products."

That so-called pre-emption clause is at the heart of the coming debate over HB1237. No hearing has been set on the bill, but legislators are beginning to talk.

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