In the past week, several state tobacco-related bills have either been introduced or acted on by a state legislative committee or state legislature. Here is an update on those bills, provided by the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO).
State Legislative Bill Introductions
Michigan: House Bill 4485 repeals the provision that is scheduled to remove the 50 cents per cigar excise tax cap on October 1, 2021.
Texas: House Bill 3842 prohibits the sale of all flavored tobacco products. Senate Bill 1711 imposes a tax on vapor products at the rate of 10 cents for each milliliter or fractional part of a milliliter of vapor product sold. Senate Bill 1712 imposes a tax on e-cigarettes and nicotine products at the rate of 10 percent of the sales price.
West Virginia: House Bill 2027 (Governor’s proposal–same as Senate Bill 600) increases the cigarette tax to $2.25 per pack, increases the OTP tax to 19.5 percent of wholesale and increases the e-cigarette liquid tax to $0.75 per milliliter.
State Legislative Bill Actions
Alabama: House Bill 273, which raises the minimum age for legal possession, transportation, and purchase of tobacco products, electronic nicotine delivery systems, and alternative nicotine products from 19 to 21; prohibits the advertisement or promotion of tobacco products, electronic nicotine delivery systems, or alternative nicotine products in certain circumstances; was reported favorably as substituted from the House Judiciary Committee on March 11, 2021.
Alaska: Senate Bill 45, which imposes a tax on electronic smoking products (including e-liquid) at the rate of 75 percent of the wholesale price and increases the legal age to purchase and possess tobacco and vapor products to 21 years of age, will be considered in the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee on March 19, 2021.
Arkansas: Senate Bill 338, which allows a person purchasing an existing permitted tobacco retail location to, with the permission of the seller, operate under the selling owner’s permit for no more than thirty days from the date of the sale, passed the House Rules Committee on March 10, 2021.
California: Senate Bill 491, which, as amended, adds violations of restrictions on nitrous oxide to the list of reasons to deny, revoke, or suspend a tobacco retailer license, was amended on March 9, 2021.
Connecticut: Senate Bill 326, which prohibits the sale of flavored cigarettes, tobacco products, electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products, reported favorably from the Joint Public Health Committee on March 5, 2021. House Bill 6450 (Governor’s budget bill on public health), which prohibits the sale of flavored ENDS and vapor products (includes menthol), is listed for joint favorable action in the Joint Public Health Committee on March 12, 2021.
Florida: Senate Bill 1080, which increases the legal age to purchase and possess tobacco products and vapor products to 21 years of age, passed the Senate Regulated Industries Committee on March 9, 2021. Senate Bill 334, which authorized counties and municipalities to further restrict smoking within the boundaries of public beaches and public parks under certain circumstances and prohibits smoking within the boundaries of a state park, will be considered in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee on March 15, 2021.
Hawaii: House Bill 598, as amended, effective July 1, 2050, increases the retail tobacco permit fee from $20 to $300 annually and prohibits retail shipment of untaxed tobacco products, passed House on March 5, 2021. Senate Bill 1147, as amended, effective January 1, 2050, bans the sale of flavored tobacco products (except menthol), includes vapor products in the definition of “tobacco products” for purposes imposing the 70% of wholesale price tax imposed on OTP, increases the annual retail tobacco permit fee by an unspecified amount, and prohibits retail shipment of untaxed tobacco products, passed Senate on March 9, 2021. Two bills died by rule on March 5, 2021: Senate Bill 138, which, as amended, effective July 1, 2050, would have increased the cigarette excise tax by an unspecified amount per pack; and Senate Bill 1398, which would have prohibited retailers selling age-restricted products from requiring customers who have clearly reached the minimum age to disclose their date of birth.
Idaho: Senate Bill 1087, which increases the legal age to purchase and possess cigarettes to 21 years of age, prohibits local units of government from adopting or enforcing requirements for the regulation, marketing, or sale of tobacco products or electronic smoking devices that are more restrictive than or in addition to this chapter, and prohibits local units of government from imposing or enforcing a tax or fee on tobacco products or electronic smoking devices, passed the House Health and Welfare Committee on March 10, 2021.