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Consumer News Release

For immediate release, Wednesday July 30, 2003
Contact Donn Stanley 515-281-8480

New Law Creates List of Cigarettes that May Be Legally Sold in Iowa

DES MOINES. Attorney General Tom Miller said that a new state law creating a directory of cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco products that may be legally sold in the State of Iowa goes into effect tomorrow. He said that, "Beginning tomorrow, any brand sold in Iowa not listed on the directory may be seized and destroyed."

"This new law is the latest effort by the State of Iowa to protect its citizens by requiring tobacco companies to be more accountable for the cigarette and roll-your-own products they sell in our state," said Miller.

Under the new statute, it is unlawful for any person to sell cigarettes and roll-your-own products that are not listed in the directory. Those who violate this statute may face criminal and civil penalties. The minimum civil penalty is $5,000 per violation or 500% of the retail value of the product sold, whichever is greater. Likewise, persons who sell a brand not included on the directory may have their licenses suspended or revoked. Profits gained in violation of this legislation will be disgorged and paid to the State Treasurer.

The directory may be viewed on the Iowa Department of Revenue web site at www.state.ia.us/tax/business/CigTobIndex.html. Additions and deletions to the directory will be made on a regular basis. Notices of the additions and deletions will be sent via an e-list service. Anyone may sign up for the e-list service on the Iowa Department of Revenue Web site.

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