Astronauts to the Moon will have more elegant suits

County plans to limit tobacco sales areas

A measure called for by doctors and health experts but which will surely meet with resistance from the owners of convenience stores and tobacconists was presented Tuesday in the council of Prince George’s County, Maryland.

The initiative was unveiled by council vice president Wala Blegay during the council session on Tuesday. She pointed out that said legislation limits the area dedicated to the display and sale of tobacco products in convenience stores, gas stations and tobacconists. Council members Jolene Ivey and Krystal Oriadha co-sponsor the measure.

Blegay expressed deep concern about the current totally free marketing and sales of tobacco products in Prince George’s County.

“The health and well-being of county residents is a top priority for this council, and we must send a strong message to tobacco shops and those masquerading as ‘convenience stores,’ who primarily sell tobacco products,” he said.

He added that the project focuses on quality, healthy retail sales in the county, “and residents are tired of the marketing tactics used to sell highly addictive and deadly tobacco products in our community.”

Blegan also cited the publication by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, which denounces that tobacco companies have “historically” targeted minority communities, particularly African-American and Hispanic communities, with their intense marketing efforts.

He said statistics show that approximately 45,000 African Americans die each year in the country from smoking-related diseases.

If enacted, the new legislation would go into effect on January 1, 2026, “giving convenience stores, gas stations and tobacconists time to make the necessary adjustments, preventing these establishments from experiencing unreasonable economic losses,” Blegan said.