[r53] Bill makes tobacco products less accessible to minors (2/17/2011)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Start Date: 2/17/2011 All Day
End Date: 2/17/2011
STATEHOUSE-Legislation authored by Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield) passed out of the House today to require more tobacco products to be placed behind counters, out of the reach of minors at convenience and grocery stores. House Bill 1405 passed with a 94-0 vote.

Tobacco stores would be exempt from the bill, as they already require customers to be 18 years old to enter.

"These tobacco products resemble toothpicks, breath mints and other non-tobacco related dissolvable products," said Rep. Cherry. "There are concerns that these products are specifically manufactured to attract kids because they resemble candy or breath mints. Putting them behind the counter with other tobacco products - such as cigars, cigarettes and snuff - makes them just as accessible to consumers, just not minors."

The bill would also charge a person or retail establishment who sells or distributes a tobacco product to a person less than 18 years of age with a Class C infraction.

The Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation in Hancock County was present during the committee hearing and supports the bill.

The legislation will soon be heard in the Senate for further discussion. If passed into law, it would go into effect in July 2011.

To view up-to-date information regarding this legislation and others, visit www.in.gov/legislative