Because advocates against tobacco use are often more successful locally than statewide, the tobacco industry regularly lobbies for preemption laws that take power to regulate tobacco use from local governments and give them to the state legislature, where the industry has more influence. The AAP supports allowing localities to place their own restrictions on tobacco products, especially given the unique health challenges faced by each of our communities.

Key Advocacy Messages

Below are general messages that can be used to advocate against preemption laws.

  • “Preemptive” policies around tobacco products take regulatory powers from communities and give them to state legislatures, where the tobacco industry has more influence.
  • The tobacco industry wants to take power away from localities to regulate their products. We need to send a clear message: communities must be allowed to protect their children and adolescents from the tobacco industry’s manipulative marketing.
  • As a pediatrician, I know my community faces challenges with youth tobacco consumption.
  • That’s why it’s vital that local leaders are empowered to take action to regulate tobacco products, instead of giving power to state legislatures where the tobacco industry can better focus its lobbying efforts.
  • Tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable death – and preemptive laws deprive communities of the tools they need to protect children’s health.
  • Not only do preemptive laws undercut community solutions, they also stifle creative solutions; the strongest and most innovative tobacco control laws have initially emerged at the local level.
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American Academy of Pediatrics