Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is proposing some changes in Iowa law to curb the use of tobacco by underage Iowans. Miller wants lawmakers to ban any tobacco sales that aren’t face-to-face. He says it’s easy for youngsters to get around safeguards and buy cigarettes via mail or the Internet.He also wants to ban outdoor tobacco advertising within one thousand feet of schools and playgrounds. Miller proposes a statewide licensing system for cigarette retailers. County and city governments currently handle the licenses.Miller advocates an increase in cigarette license fees, which were set at 50 to 100 dollars in 1921.Miller says lawmakers should let cities implement ordinances regulating the use of tobacco without fear those ordinances would be pre-empted by state laws.Miller also is asking legislators to require cigarettes sold in Iowa be designed so they don’t continue burning when left unattended. Miller says he won’t ask lawmakers to increase the nine-point-three million dollars budget for tobacco prevention efforts. He says those efforts are just getting underway and says they have adequate funding at this point to accomplish their goals.The state is to get around 54-million dollars this year in settlement money from the major tobacco companies.
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