Tobacco sales make up 20 to 60 percent of total sales for independently owned and franchised stores in the United States.1 Independently owned and franchised stores also receive incentives from tobacco companies for advertisements. Retailers are allowed to buy tobacco products from wholesalers at a discount in exchange for prime positioning of tobacco ads. Annually in the District, tobacco retailers pay $15 for a licensing fee and wholesalers pay $50. Mautner Project and SmokeLess LGBT DC believe that the licensing fee should be raised to $200 for retailers and $350 for wholesalers. The revenue that is created would allow the creation of culturally competent cessation groups and social media campaigns to promote cessation.
1 Feighery E, Ribisi K, Achabal D and Tyebjee T. Retail Trade Incentives: How Tobacco Industry Practices Compare with those of Other Industries. American Journal of Public Health. 89(10): 1564-1566.