Tobacco discounts, coupons banned under Sacramento lawmaker’s legislation

A Sacramento lawmaker wants to ban retailers from offering any sort of discount on tobacco products.

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, said he was motivated to push legislation after recent news reports about Philip Morris offering California customers coupons to offset the new $2 tax increase, which went into effect April 1.

The tobacco giant cited Proposition 56, a state ballot measure voters overwhelmingly approved in November to raise tobacco taxes, in a email blast to customers that explained how to obtain three coupons a week through June.

“California has led the nation in its fight against tobacco by enacting some of the strongest anti-tobacco laws on the books,” McCarty said in a statement. “Sadly, the tobacco industry continues to trick consumers into becoming long term addicts by artificially lowering the price of tobacco products.”

Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris,…

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