State Legislative Action Update

A summary of the outcomes of tobacco bills in Hawaii, Colorado and other states

Thomas A. Briant, NATO Executive Director

State Legislative Update

State legislative sessions are now well underway and although there have been a number of bills related to tobacco, some of the legislative proposals have already failed. Below is a summary of the final outcome of tobacco-related bills in various states:

Hawaii: A number of bills being considered by the Hawaii legislature have failed. First, a bill that would have imposed a tax on electronic cigarettes at a rate equal to the wholesale cost of an e-cigarette did not pass the legislature. Also, House Bill 2133 that would increase the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 failed. A couple of bills that would have prohibited the sale of flavored tobacco products did not pass the legislature. Finally, House Bill 2321 and Senate Bill 2871, which would have banned the use of e-cigarettes in most public places, failed to be passed by legislative committees.

Colorado: A bill that sought to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21 was not approved by the state legislature.

Indiana: House Bill 1174 that would have included e-cigarettes within the state’s current definition of “tobacco products” and subject e-cigarettes to Indiana’s 24% tax on tobacco products did not pass the legislature.

Oregon: House Bill 4129 proposed to increase the cigarette tax rate by 30 cents per pack, raise the OTP tax to 81.25%, and tax e-cigarettes at the same 81.25% rate. The bill died in committee due to adjournment of the Oregon legislature.

Tennessee: House Bill 2096 and Senate Bill 2447, which proposed a 44 cents per pack cigarette tax increase, did not pass the legislature.

Utah: Senate Bill 12 which would have raised the legal age to purchase tobacco products from the current age of 19 to 21 years old failed to pass the legislature.

Washington: Three different House and Senate bills that sought to assess a 95% tax on e-cigarettes have all failed due to the Washington legislature adjourning for the year.