By Maggie Gioia | Marketing Coordinator

On January 18, the State of New Jersey approved a bill that will require certain tobacco product retailers to stock and sell nicotine replacement therapy products. The new act will become effective 60 days after the date of enactment, or March 19.

The act states that, “any entity, other than a cigar shop, that sells, offers for sale, or distributes for commercial purpose any tobacco product shall maintain a stock of, and offer for retail sale, at least one type of nicotine replacement therapy drug, device, or combination product that has been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration for cessation of tobacco use…”

In other words, all New Jersey stores that do not exclusively sell tobacco products must stock and sell at least one type of FDA-approved nicotine replacement item. However, it is under the jurisdiction of the store to decide the quantity of nicotine replacement products they offer, as well as what kind. These replacement therapies take many forms, such as gums, transdermal patches, nasal sprays, oral inhalers and tablets.

The act also specifies that if stores are to sell out of nicotine replacement product, they must reorder within five business days and be restocked within 14 days of their initial sellout date. In addition, stores must display the official logo, phone number and Internet address of the NJ Smoking Quitline or a successor program.

C-store Tobacco Counter

While the act is a step in the right direction towards the betterment of New Jersey health — setting a precedent for other states to follow — it is likely to present many challenges for New Jersey convenience stores in attaining the correct products quickly.

National Convenience Distributors – the fourth largest convenience distributor in the United States – services New Jersey with the FDA-approved nicotine replacement products they need, helping to mitigate such potential challenges.

“As a result of the recent passage of New Jersey State Bill A6020, we at National Convenience Distributors wanted to touch base with our affected customers,” said Kyle Feldman, the Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Manager of NCD’s Farmingdale Distribution Center. “Though this bill is the first of its kind nationally, we do not see the requirement of a convenience store retailer now needing to stock no more than one unit of a nicotine replacement therapy product as too disruptive, nor do we feel it will spawn much in the way of business within the convenience channel.”

New Jersey c-stores can gain access to GlaxoSmithKline’s Nicorette Gum through NCD’s partnership with Lil’ Drug Store, which distributes c-store versions of popular over-the-counter drug store items across several categories including health and beauty, among many others.

“NCD already carries various nicotine replacement therapy items that our customers can choose from to satisfy the new requirements of the state law more efficiently,” said Feldman.

NCD is preparing New Jersey c-stores by continuing to provide Nicorette’s best-selling flavors — Fruit Chill and White Ice Mint Gum. Because Nicorette Gums are FDA-approved, they will fulfill the nicotine replacement therapy mandate. When used by smokers, Nicorette Gum has been proven to double their chances of quitting successfully.

As the act begins to take hold, NCD is assisting New Jersey retailers in meeting these new standards.