State Tobacco Legislative Update


Illinois: House Bill 2579, which prohibits electronic cigarettes from having more than 25 milligrams per milliliter of nicotine and also prohibits any retailer servicing anyone under 21 years of age from selling a flavored solution intended for use with an electronic cigarette, will be considered in the House Human Services Committee on March 16, 2021. House Bill 570, which caps the tax on cigars and other rolled tobacco products at $0.50 per cigar or roll, was considered in the House Revenue and Finance Committee on March 11, 2021. Senate Bill 1724, which bans single-use cigarette filters and states that beginning 2 years after the effective date, a cigarette may not utilize a single-use filter containing cellulose acetate, another plastic material, or any non-biodegradable material, was referred to the Senate Executive Committee on March 9, 2021.

Kansas: House Bill 2428, which increases the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack and raises the excise tax on tobacco products an additional 44 percent of the wholesale sales price, was referred to the House Taxation Committee on March 3, 2021.

Minnesota: House File 1721, which increases the state cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack, raises the excise tax on tobacco and vapor products from 95 percent to 97 percent of the wholesale price, and also increases the excise tax on premium cigars from the lesser of 95 percent of the wholesale price or 50 cents to 97 percent of the wholesale or $5.00 per cigar, passed the Preventive Health Policy Division on March 19, 2021 and has been returned to the committee on Health Finance and Policy.

Montana: House Bill 137, which limits local governing units and the Department of Public Health and Human Services from establishing requirements on alternative nicotine products or vapor products and amends the Youth Access to Tobacco Products Act to clarify that alternative nicotine products or vapor products are separate and distinct from tobacco products, will be considered in the Senate Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs Committee on March 16, 2021.

North Dakota: Senate Bill 2156, which prohibits an individual under twenty-one years of age from purchasing, possessing, or using tobacco products or electronic smoking devices has been withdrawn from the House Judiciary Committee and referred to the committee on Political Subdivisions. This bill has already passed the Senate. Senate Bill 2189 was amended in the House Finance and Taxation committee on March 9th to recommend that the legislative management consider studying reduced harm nicotine products during the 2021-22 interim. Previous versions of the bill included licensing requirements and a vapor tax; however, those provisions have been removed.

Oklahoma: House Bill 2292, which creates the Oklahoma Tax Commission to enforce the tobacco tax laws and also requires that retailers may only purchase tobacco products from Oklahoma licensed wholesalers, passed the House and moved to the Senate on March 10, 2021.

Rhode Island: House Bill 5548, which regulates the manufacture, distribution and retail sale of vapor products; sets forth labeling, marketing and record keeping requirements for manufacturers, distributors and retailers of vapor products, was recommended to be held for further study by the House Health and Human Services Committee on March 8, 2021. House Bill 5633 (same as SB258), which authorizes towns and cities to regulate the use and sale of cigarettes, other tobacco products and electronic nicotine delivery systems, was scheduled for a hearing on March 12 but was postponed at the sponsor’s request.

Tennessee: House Bill 515 (same as SB143), which exempts smokeless nicotine products from the tax on tobacco products and cigarettes, was recommend for passage by the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee on March 9, 2021. Senate Bill 143 will be heard in the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee on March 16, 2021.

Texas: Senate Bill 440, which prohibits the sale or distribution of flavored tobacco products or vapor products (includes exemptions for shisha, loose leaf tobacco and premium cigars), was referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee on March 9, 2021.

Utah: Senate Bill 189, which, as amended, clarifies that the proximity restriction on retail tobacco specialty businesses does not apply to such a business as it existed Dec. 31, 2018, allows such businesses to relocate in spite of the proximity restriction under certain circumstances, extends sales, purchase, use and possession restrictions to alternative nicotine products, prohibits tobacco retailers from employing persons under 21 to sell tobacco products, and increases administrative penalties for sales to underage persons, passed House on March 5 and is ready for the Governor. Two bills died by rule on March 2, 2021: House Bill 429, which would have increased penalties on employees or owners of tobacco retailers who sell tobacco or vapor products to underage persons; and Senate Bill 134, which, would have increased the taxes e-liquids and prefilled devices from 56 percent to 70 percent of the manufacturers’ sales price, increased penalties for sales to underage, and limited the Department of Health’s authority to set nicotine standards for electronic cigarette products or regulate tobacco products authorized for sale under federal laws permitting the sale of modified risk products.

Vermont: Senate Bill 24, which prohibits the sale of flavored cigarettes, e-cigarettes and e-liquids (including menthol), was heard in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on March 10 and March 12, 2021.

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