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New Agency Proposal, State Bill Introductions and Actions

The following is an update from the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) sourced through their February 14th online bulletin. Reposted with permission.

President Proposes New Agency to Regulate Tobacco Products

This week, President Trump released his administration’s proposed federal budget request which includes removing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s responsibility to regulate tobacco products and creating an entirely new federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services to regulate all tobacco products.  A presidential budget request does not have the force and effect of law, but rather outlines the administration’s priorities.  This proposal would need to be considered and acted upon by Congress.

 

State Legislative Bill Introductions

State tobacco-related legislative bills that have been introduced in the past week are listed below alphabetically by state:

Alaska: Senate Bill 182 imposes a tax on vapor products at the rate of 75% of the wholesale price.

Arizona:  House Bill 2826 and House Bill 2853 increase the minimum legal sales age to 21 and provide penalties for businesses selling to underage persons.  House Bill 2877 raises the minimum legal sales age for tobacco to 21, creates a regulatory process for tobacco retailers under the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control, and preempts local jurisdictions from regulating the sale of tobacco products.

Connecticut:  Senate Bill 76 prohibits the sale of flavored cigarettes, flavored tobacco products, flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems, and flavored vapor products

Georgia: House Bill 909 and Senate Bill 375 raise the purchase age for tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21 years of age.

Idaho: House Bill 498 requires all retailers selling electronic smoking devices to be licensed by the state and prohibits the possession and use of vapor products by minors. 

Iowa:  House Bill 2307 redefines “tobacco products” to include vapor products, thus imposing the OTP excise tax of 50% of the wholesale sales price on all vapor products.

Kentucky:  House Bill 416 increases the excise taxes on cigarettes by $.50 per pack, snuff to $.51 per unit (1.5 ounces), chewing tobacco to $.51 per single unit, $1.07 for half-pound unit, $1.73 for one-pound unit, and tobacco products (including vapor products) to 40% of the distributor sales price; includes a floor tax; removes the discount for modified risk tobacco products. 

Maryland:  House Bill 1374 prohibits the sale of an electronic smoking device that contains a flavor other than tobacco.

Minnesota: House File 3032 prohibits the sale or furnishing of flavored products; modifies​ administrative penalties for selling or furnishing certain devices or products; ​ provides for alternative civil penalties for certain persons under age 21 who sell​ or distribute flavored products; providing criminal penalties.

West Virginia: House Bill 4764 increases the tax on e-cigarettes to be the equal to the tax on cigarettes.  Senate Bill 735 increases the excise tax on cigarettes by $.80 per pack and increases the tax on vapor products to $1.00 per milliliter.

Wisconsin:  Assembly Bill 422 and Senate Bill 344 increase the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21 years of age.  Assembly Bill 889 requires vapor product retailers to obtain a license from the clerk of the city, village or town where the retailer is located.

Wyoming:  House Bill 205 increases the state cigarette tax by $1.40 per pack, raises the tax on other tobacco products to 56% of the wholesale purchase price, and adds “electronic cigarettes” to the definition of “tobacco products” to impose the tobacco products tax rate of 56% of the wholesale purchase price on electronic cigarettes.  HB205 also includes a tax increase of $2.00 on moist snuff. House Bill 73 imposes a tax on vapor products at the rate of 15% of the wholesale purchase price.

 

State Legislative Bill Actions

State tobacco-related legislative bills that have been acted on by a state legislative committee or state legislature are listed below alphabetically by state:

Hawaii: House Bill 2347, which, as amended, effective July 1, 2050, bans the sale of flavored tobacco products (except menthol), passed House Judiciary Committee on February 12, 2012. House Bill 2348, which, as amended, effective July 1, 2050, establishes penalties for employees and holders of retail tobacco permits or persons registered to sell electronic cigarette smoking devices who illegally sell tobacco products and electronic smoking devices to persons under 21, passed House Judiciary Committee on February 12, 2020.  Senate Bill 2301, which, as amended, effective July 1, 2021, imposes a “cigarette litter excise tax” of an unspecified amount per cigarette, passed Senate Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health with an amendment on February 10, 2020.  

Iowa:  Senate Study Bill 3016, which raises the age to purchase tobacco products to 21 years of age, was considered in a hearing in the State Government Committee on February 13, 2020.  

Kansas:  House Bill 2563, which prohibits the sale of flavored vapor products (exempts menthol); raises the minimum sales age for tobacco products and vapor products from 18 to 21 years of age; prohibits the use of vapor products where smoking is already prohibited; and increases the licensing fees for retailers of tobacco products and vapor products, was considered in the House State and Federal Affairs Committee on February 13, 2020.

Kentucky:  House Bill 32 (House Committee Substitute), which doubles the tax rates on snuff and chewing tobacco, increases the tax on other tobacco products (includes vapor products) to 25% of the distributor sales prices and includes a floor tax, reported favorably from the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee on February 11, 2020.  House Bill 69, which defines “enhanced vapor product” (as reusable or disposable, contains flavorings other than tobacco or menthol, contains a nicotine salt strength in excess of four percent or contains oils, compounds and other chemicals to enhance the delivery); requires a manufacturer or retailer to register with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and pay a fee; requires in-person purchase of enhanced vapor products (prohibits online, catalog or phone sales); stipulates that a retailer or manufacturer may not permit a person under age 21 unaccompanied by a parent or guardian to remain on the premise, reported favorably from the House Licensing, Occupations and Admin Regs Committee on February 11, 2020.

Minnesota: House File 3032, which prohibits the sale or furnishing of flavored products; modifies​ administrative penalties for selling or furnishing certain devices or products; provides for alternative civil penalties for certain persons under age 21 who sell​ or distribute flavored products; providing criminal penalties, will be heard by the Minnesota House Commerce Committee on February 19, 2020.

Oregon:  Senate Bill 1577, which prohibits the sale of all flavored vapor products, was considered in a work session in the Senate Health Care Committee on February 13, 2020.

Rhode Island:  House Bill 7171 (Governor’s Bill), which raises the cigarette tax by $.35 per pack (includes a floor tax), taxes e-liquid at the OTP rate of 80% of wholesale, prohibits the sale of flavored electronic smoking devices (includes menthol), sets the legal age of purchase to 21, bans discounts, allows cities and towns to regulate tobacco products and caps the nicotine content of ENDS at 35 milligrams per milliliter, was heard in the House Finance Committee on February 12, 2020.

South Dakota:  House Bill 1064 prohibits the sale of flavored vapor products except mint and menthol, will be considered in the House Health and Human Services Committee on February 18, 2020.

Vermont:  Senate Bill 288, which bans the sale of flavored tobacco products, flavored e-liquid and flavored tobacco substitutes, was heard in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on February 11, 2020.

Virginia: House Bill 785 would authorize any county to impose additional excise taxes on cigarettes, passed House and referred to Senate on February 11, 2020; Senate Bill 966 prohibits the distribution or sale of flavored vapor products, failed in the Senate on February 11, 2020.

Washington:  Senate Bill 6254, which was amended and now prohibits the sale of flavored vapor products (exempts menthol and tobacco) from being sold except in retail outlets restricted to person 21 years of age or older; limits the nicotine content/delivery of vapor products; imposes a 37% excise tax on flavored vapor products; contains licensing requirements for both in-state and out-of-state vapor product manufacturers; and prohibits manufacturers from also be licensed as a retailer or delivery seller, passed the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee as amended on February 3rd was considered in the Senate Ways and Means Committee on February 10, 2020.