Michigan Legislative Candidate Questionaire
Michigan is one of only seven states that does not require any form of tobacco retail license (TRL). TRL systems that effectively reduce youth access to nicotine have the following properties:
1. They apply to retailers of all types of tobacco products including cigarettes, vapes, cigars, hookah and products made with synthetic nicotine.
2. A funding mechanism to support a minimum of two mandated compliance checks per year by appropriately aged decoys and required follow-up checks for those that fail the initial checks.
3. A strong escalating penalties on the retail establishment including the potential loss of license. The penalties are focused on the establishment and not the clerk and requiring a negating defense of clerk misconduct.
Do you support legislation that would create a strong fully funded, comprehensive tobacco retail licensing system in Michigan that includes strong enforcement and penalties on violators?
Michigan’s tax code for tobacco products is complex, taxing different types of products differently. Cigarettes, cigars, vaping products, synthetic nicotine products, “modified risk products” are all taxed, or not covered by, the current general taxation rate of 32% of the wholesale price for “other tobacco products.” Do you support simplifying the taxation rate to a uniform rate of 32% that covers all tobacco products?
Do you support legislation (like HB 4427 of 2021) that would reduce or remove completely ineffective PUP laws that divert enforcement actions and resources away from strategies that are more effective at deterring youth smoking, such as tobacco retailer licensing and compliance checks, limits on advertising, minimum pricing and pack size requirements, and restrictions on flavored tobacco products, which attract youth.
Do you support increasing Michigan's annual expenditures for cessation and prevention services to a minimum of $10 million annually to support the two-thirds (68%) of people who currently smoke and would like to quit?
Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialists (CTTS) provide specialized and intensive interventions, freeing up time for physicians and other healthcare providers to work to the top of their licensure. Although their training and field experience is extensive, CTTS are currently unable to bill for the cessation counseling. Unlike some states, Michigan does not recognize Certified Tobacco Dependence Treatment Specialists (CTTS) as a profession with the ability to direct bill Medicaid for their services. Do you support recognizing CTTS as a profession for Medicaid billing.
Michigan pharmacists currently do not have the authority to independently prescribe all seven tobacco cessation medications. Pharmacists are well-qualified to safely prescribe these medications, and expanding their ability to do so could improve rates of successful quitting by increasing access to them in the community.
Do you support giving pharmacists the authority to prescribe all seven tobacco cessation medications?