An Update on Over 27 State-Level Tobacco Bills

Tobacco Regulations and Legislative Update

The following legislative update was contributed by the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO):

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

Kentucky: Senate Bill 166 permits a city, county, urban-county government, charter county government, consolidated local government, or unified local government to impose restrictions or requirements on the use, display, sale, or distribution of tobacco products or vapor products that are stricter than those imposed under state law.

New Jersey: Assembly Bill 2797 (same as SB1039) revises the requirements for the sale of tobacco and vapor products; increases penalties for prohibited sales; increases fee for cigarette and vapor business licensure; prohibits the sale of vaping liquid with a nicotine content greater than 2 percent. Senate Bill 1775 (same as A879) limits the taxation of cigars under the Tobacco and Vapor Products Tax Act to a maximum of $0.50 per cigar. Senate Bill 1841 increases tobacco products wholesale sales and use tax rates to be on par with the tax rate imposed on cigarettes.

Oklahoma: House Bill 3314 includes vapor products in the definition of “tobacco products” for taxation purposes and revises existing preemption provisions. HB3314 has been referred to the House Rules Committee.

West Virginia: Senate Bill 635 increases the cigarette tax to $2.70 per pack (currently $1.20); increases the tax on OTP to 51 percent of wholesale (currently 12 percent); defines and taxes electronic smoking devices as OTP; repeals the discount rate for tax stamps.

The following state tobacco-related legislative bills have been acted on by a state legislative committee or state legislature, listed below alphabetically by state:

Arizona: House Bill 2125, which requires a state tobacco retail license administered by the Department of Health Services and allows local jurisdictions to license and regulate tobacco product sales, passed the House Health and Human Services Committee on Feb. 14, 2022.

Colorado: House Bill 1064, which prohibits the sale and distribution of all flavored cigarettes, tobacco products and nicotine products (includes flavored synthetic nicotine products), is scheduled for consideration in the House Health and Insurance Committee on March 9, 2022.

Hawaii: House Bill 1570, which bans the sale of flavored tobacco and synthetic nicotine products; prohibits marketing electronic smoking devices to appeal to underage persons; defines heated smoking products as electronic smoking devices, passed House Health, Human Services and Homelessness with amendments (not yet available) on Feb. 10, 2022. Senate Bill 2278, which, effective Jan. 1, 2023, taxes electronic smoking devices and e-liquids at 70 percent of the wholesale price, passed Senate Committees on Commerce and Consumer Protection and Health with amendments on Feb. 10, 2022.

Idaho: Senate Bill 1285, prohibits any locality from enacting ordinances regulating the marketing or sale of tobacco or vapor products and also prohibits localities from imposing additional taxes or fees on tobacco products or vapor products, passed the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Feb. 17, 2022.