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State Legislative Bill Actions Update

The following is an update from the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) sourced through their March 20th online bulletin. Reposted with permission.

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

Colorado: House Bill 1319, which, as amended, prohibits the sale of all flavored nicotine products in all stores that are not age restricted, will be considered in a second reading in the House on March 30, 2020.

Florida:  House Bill 1037 and Senate Bill 1394, which include vapor products in the definition of tobacco products and as such are taxed at the same rate of 85% of the wholesale price, withdrawn from consideration on March 14, 2020.  House Bill 7089, which requires vapor product retailers to obtain a license through the state, failed on March 16, 2020. Senate Bill 694, which prohibits the sale of flavored e-liquid, prohibits self-service sales of tobacco products, prohibits the sale of tobacco or vapor products unless in a direct, face to face exchange with the dealer, withdrawn from consideration on March 14, 2020.

Georgia: Senate Bill 375, which raises the purchase age for tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21, passed the Senate on March 16, 2020.

Idaho: House Bill 538, which regulates electronic smoking devices in the same way as tobacco products; requires all retailers selling electronic smoking devices to be licensed by the state; and prohibits the possession and use of vapor products by minors, passed the Senate and moved to the Governor’s desk on March 18, 2020.

Indiana:  Senate Bill 1, which prohibits a person under age 21 from buying or possessing tobacco, e-liquids or electronic cigarettes; doubles penalties for sales to minors; prohibits a tobacco retailer from being located within 1,000 ft. of a school (current retailers grandfathered); requires a retail establishment with 85% gross sales from tobacco and e-cigarettes be age 21 restricted, was sent to the Governor on March 18, 2020.  The legislature adjourned on March 11, 2020.

Maine:  LD544 (HP401), which, as amended, clarifies the state’s litter laws by including waste materials resulting from or associated with the use of tobacco products as litter, reported as “ought to pass” from the Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on March 13, 2020.  LD2052 (SP725), which prohibits the sale of electronic smoking devices and nicotine liquid and new tobacco products, pending adoption of certain rules, was placed in the Legislative File (dead) on March 17, 2020.

Maryland:  House Bill 732, which, as amended increases the cigarette tax by $1.75 per pack, taxes electronic nicotine devices at 12%, taxes vaping liquid in containers less than 5ml at 60% and increases the OTP tax to 53%, passed the Senate on March 17, and the House concurred and adopted on March 18, 2020.  House Bill 3, which, as amended, prohibits the sale of menthol cigarettes, flavored tobacco products and all electronic smoking devices (except open systems), passed the House on March 13th but was not adopted in the Senate before the General Assembly adjourned early due to coronavirus concerns.  House Bill 1374, prohibits the sale of an electronic smoking device that contains a flavor other than tobacco, reported unfavorably from the House Economic Matters Committee on March 12, 2020.  Senate Bill 2, which was amended to include a cigarette tax of $1.75 per pack, a 12% tax on electronic nicotine devices, a 60% on vaping liquid in containers less than 5ml and a 53% on OTP, reportedly passed the Senate and House on March 17, 2020.  The legislature adjourned on March 18, 2020.

Massachusetts:  Senate Bill 2605, which increases the tax on cigarettes by 100% annually, was referred to the Joint Committee on Revenue on March 18, 2020.

Mississippi:  Senate Bill 2799, which imposes an excise tax on vapor products at a rate of $.05 per milliliter of consumable e-liquid, failed on March 17, 2020.

New Hampshire:  House Bill 1477, which originally included a cigarette tax increase, was amended to create a study committee (no tax increase) and reported from the committee as “ought to pass” and passed the House on March 13, 2020.

Utah:  Before the regular session adjourned for the year on March 12, two bills passed and are ready for the Governor:  House Bill 23, which. as passed, effective July 1, 2020, increases the age to 21 for purchase, sales, possession and use of tobacco products, requires retail tobacco specialty businesses to electronically verify proof of age for anyone entering the premises and prohibit those under 21 and unaccompanied by a parent or guardian from entering those businesses, prohibits such a business from locating within 1000 feet of a school beginning August 15, 2020, restricts flavored electronic cigarette products to retail tobacco specialty businesses,  and preempts local ordinances on minimum legal sales age, flavors, sales, placement and display, and purchase and possession of tobacco products; and Senate Bill 37, which, as passed, effective July 1, 2020 increases the minimum legal sales age to 21, requires itemized receipts to customers and retention of itemized sales records by retailers, taxes electronic cigarettes and related products at 56% of the manufacturers sales price beginning July 1, 2020  and $1.83 per ounce beginning July 1, 2021 for alternative nicotine products, and reduces tobacco tax rates by 25-50% for products that have received a modified risk tobacco product order from the FDA.  House Bill 118, which would have amended the regulation of retail tobacco specialty businesses by including in that regulation businesses that sell flavored electronic cigarette products; required tobacco retailers, for each sale of tobacco products, to provide to the customer, and keep a record of, the name of the product sold, the amount charged, and the time and date of the sale; removed the state preemption of local ordinances regarding tobacco sales and the sales of flavored electronic cigarettes; and prohibited certain discounts and giveaways of tobacco products, failed in Senate Business and Labor Committee on March 9, 2020.  House Bill 375, which would have prohibited the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession or use of any electronic cigarette, (exempting 21 and older military members and their spouses) died by rule on March 9, 2020.  House Joint Resolution 20, which encouraged local boards of health to limit the number of tobacco retail permits they issue, died on adjournment on March 12, 2020.  Senate Bill 199, which would have enacted a tax of $0.61 per milliliter on electronic cigarette substances and restricts delivery sales of electronic cigarette substances, died by rule on March 9, 2020.

Virginia: House Bill 785, which authorizes any County to impose additional excise taxes on cigarettes, passed both Houses, was sent to the Governor on March 18, 2020.

Washington: Senate Bill 6254, which as amended, imposes a new excise tax of 5% on flavored vapor products; bans all disposable flavored vapor products (exempts tobacco and menthol flavors); prohibits online sales of vapor products; requires age restricted stores to verify the age of an individual at the point of entry; and bans the sale of vapor products containing Vitamin E Acetate, passed the Senate and then failed due to adjournment on March 12, 2020.