Washington Report: FDA to Host Web Dialogue with Retailers on Tobacco Regulations | NACS Online – Media – News Archive
Sign In Help

The Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing

Skip Navigation LinksNACS Online / Media / News Archive

Washington Report: FDA to Host Web Dialogue with Retailers on Tobacco Regulations

Also: Financial services overhaul advances towards a final vote in the Senate and small businesses find out health care tax credit isn't all it's cracked up to be.
May 21, 2010

Online Chat between FDA��s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) and Retailers to Take Place Wednesday
According to a notice from the Food and Drug Administration��s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) a comprehensive retailer education campaign to raise awareness about new regulations regarding the sale and distribution of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco is being developed.

"The retail community plays a direct role in helping us protect our kids from tobacco. We would like to have retailers be part of the community to protect kids. Therefore, we��d like to get your help in how we communicate with retailers. Please join us on May 26, 2010 from 10am-6pm EST for an online opportunity to help us help retailers learn the latest FDA information impacting retailers. We will discuss CTP��s planned communication to tobacco retailers. This includes CTP��s communication themes, messages, and channels. Your insights and experiences will help CTP effectively communicate regulations and information with you; the retailer."

This web dialogue is a relatively new tactic of communication between regulators and those being regulated. It is sort of a combination of a webinar and an online chat. "The web dialogue will give you an opportunity to share ideas, offer recommendations, ask questions, and interact with your colleagues and CTP Communication staff."

NACS will be participating in FDA��s online "chat" on behalf of retail members. You are welcome to view the discussion or participate.

NACS hosted its own webinar to answer retailer questions in March about the Family Smoking and Prevention Act. Also, be on the lookout for the June issue of NACS Magazine for an "FDA Tobacco 101" of important regulations retailers must be following by June 22.

NACS Staff Contact: Lyle Beckwith, lbeckwith@nacsonline.com

Landmark Financial Overhaul Passes Senate
Late last night the Senate finalized their vote on major Wall Street reform. After Democratic leadership negotiated with enough members, the bill passed 59-39.

Four Republicans crossed over to vote with the Democrats- Senators Olympia Snowe (ME), Susan Collins (ME), Charles Grassley (IA) and Scott Brown (MA). Only two Democrats strayed from their party- Senators Maria Cantwell (WA) and Russ Feingold (WI), they had concerns that their amendments were not addressed. Senators Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Arlen Specter (D-PA) did not vote.

This legislation is the most important event in retailers�� longtime battle fighting the outrageous interchange fees imposed on merchants by Visa and MasterCard. Every retailer should be taking notice of how their Senator is voting and either saying a huge thank you or voicing your disappointment.

We must remain vigilant and see these advancements through to the end.

Here is a breakdown of what will happen next:

  • House and Senate to work out differences between their bills in a conference
  • House and Senate vote on final conference version of the bill
  • President signs the bill into law

See below to check out how your senator voted:

Yea (60)

Nay (40)

1. Akaka(D-HI)

1. Alexander (R-TN)

2. Baucus (D-MT)

2. Barrasso (R-WY)

3. Bayh (D-MT)

3. Bennet (R-UT)

4. Begich (D-AK)

4. Bond (R-MO)

5. Bennet (D-CO)

5. Brownback (R-KS)

6. Bingaman (D-NM)

6. Bunning (R-KY)

7. Boxer (D-CA)

7. Burr (R-NC)

8. Brown (R-MA)

8. Cantwell (D-WA)

9. Brown (D-OH)

9. Chambliss (R-GA)

10. Burris (D-IL)

10. Cochran (R-MS)

11. Cardin (D-MD)

11. Coburn (R-OK)

12. Carper (D-DE)

12. Corker (R-TN)

13. Casey (D-PA)

13. Cornyn (R-TX)

14. Collins (R-ME)

14. Crapo (R-ID)

15. Conrad (D-ND)

15. DeMint (R-SC)

16. Dodd (D-CT)

16. Ensign (R-NV)

17. Dorgan (D-ND)

17. Enzi (R-WY)

18. Durbin (D-IL)

18. Fiengold (D-WI)

19. Feinstein (D-CA)

19. Graham (R-SC)

20. Franken (D-MN

20. Gregg (R-NH)

21. Gillibrand (D-NY)

21. Hatch (R-UT)

22. Grassley (R-IA)

22. Hutchison (R-TX)

23. Hagan (D-NC)

23. Inhofe (R-OK)

24. Harkin (D-IA)

24. Isakson (R-GA)

25. Inouye (D-HI)

25. Johanns (R-NE)

26. Johnson (D-SD)

26. Kyl (R-AZ)

27. Kaufman (D-DE)

27. LeMieux (R-FL)

28. Kerry (D-MA)

28. Lugar (R-IN)

29. Kohl (D-WI)

29. McCain (R-AZ)

30. Klobuchar (D-MN)

30. McConnell (R-KY)

31. Landrieu (D-LA)

31. Murkowski (R-AK)

32. Lautenberg (D-NJ)

32. Risch (R-ID)

33. Leahy (D-VT)

33. Roberts (R-KS)

34. Levin (D-MI)

34. Sessions (R-AL)

35. Lieberman (I-CT)

35. Shelby (R-AL)

36. Lincoln (D-AR)

36. Thune (R-SD)

37. McCaskill (D-MO)

37. Vitter (R-LA)

38. Menendez (D-NJ)

38. Voinovich (R-OH)

39. Merkley (D-OR)

39. Wicker (R-MS)

40. Mikulski (D-MD)

41. Murray (D-WA)

42. Nelson (D-NE)

43. Nelson (D-FL)

44. Pryor (D-AR)

45. Reed (D-RI)

46. Reid (D-NV)

47. Rockefeller (D-WV)

48. Sanders (I-VT)

49. Schumer (D-NY)

50. Shaheen (D-NH)

51. Snowe (R-ME)

52. Stabenow (D-MI)

53. Tester (D-MT)

54. Udall (D-CO)

55. Udall (D-MN)

56. Warner (D-VA)

57. Webb (D-VA)

58. Whitehouse (D-RI)

59. Wyden (D-OR)

Not Voting

1. Byrd (D-WV)

2. Specter (D-PA)

NACS Staff Contact: Lyle Beckwith, lbeckwith@nacsonline.com

Health Care Insurance Tax Credits Won��t Help Many Small Businesses
In the aftermath of the passage of comprehensive health care reform the Obama administration has been touting one of the first new "benefits" of the law. It has been widely advertised that small businesses will be able to receive tax credits to help cover the cost of their insurance premiums. The IRS even sent our 4 million postcards to businesses they thought might qualify.

The basic premise is that if you employ fewer than 25 workers and their average annual wages are under $50,000 a year your company could be eligible. But the actual calculation to determine eligibility is a little more complicated. If you have more than 10 employees earning more than $25,000 the credit is decreased substantially, possibly eliminating you depending on the exact numbers. Essentially as the number of your employees gets closer to 25 and the average of their salaries gets closer to $50,000 the closer you get to no credit.

Many retailers are already looking into the credit as it begins this year. Several calculators are available online to help you determine if you qualify. Check out any of the following:

Unfortunately this tax credit may be a letdown for many small businesses. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will only apply 12% of small employers. According to Michael Mundaca, assistant secretary for tax policy, "The small business tax credit was designed to provide the greatest benefit to employers that currently have the hardest time providing health insurance for their workers�"small, low-wage firms."

NACS staff contact: Julie Fields, jfields@nacsonline.com