Federal regulation and state laws are only part of the story. Local laws also dictate how and where tobacco products are sold, who can sell and use these products, and where they can be used.
According to published reports, there are now more than 2,216 municipalities in the United States with smoking restrictions. Of them, 461 stipulate a total ban on smoking in private workplaces, government buildings, restaurants and/or bars.
Additionally, hundreds of localities across the country have adopted restrictions on the sale of cigarettes through vending machines, and more than 100 localities have limited the distribution of tobacco product samples. More than 50 local governments restrict or prohibit displays of tobacco products that permit customer access without the assistance of a clerk.
From seed-bed to sales counter to usage, federal, state and local tobacco laws make cigarettes among the most highly regulated products in the nation.
Beginning with the State of New York in 2004, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have now enacted fire standard legislation that requires cigarettes sold in those states to achieve a specific percentage of self-extinguishment (going-out on its own) when tested under controlled laboratory conditions. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company worked diligently to design its cigarettes so that they comply with the standard.
Currently R.J. Reynolds only manufactures and sells cigarettes designed to meet self-extinguishment standards.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company does not oppose smoking restrictions in public places because we recognize and respect the fact that many adults prefer to work, shop and dine in smoke-free environments.
We support reasonable exemptions to smoking restrictions that allow owners of adult-only, age-restricted facilities like bars and taverns to set their own smoking policies, but we do not oppose legislative or voluntary proposals to ban smoking in offices, shopping centers, restaurants and other unrestricted areas. We believe that the owner of an age-restricted venue where adults gather to enjoy age-restricted products, like alcohol, should have the choice to allow adults to enjoy other age-restricted products, like tobacco, in their establishment.
In all circumstances, we believe adult smokers should avoid exposing minors, and women who are pregnant, to secondhand smoke, and that people should rely on the conclusions of the Surgeon General and other health authorities regarding smoking and health.
We are committed to working with legislators, business owners and others to find sensible solutions.
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