OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. -- As spring turns into summer, many state legislatures come to a close. As such, a number of proposals are either voted on or tabled for the session. Here’s the status of 10 state tobacco measures from the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) and Cowen Group tobacco analyst Vivien Azer:
California: A bill that would permit tobacco sales only in retail stores that obtain more than 60% of their revenue from the sale of tobacco products and paraphernalia passed the full Senate on June 2. The bill will move to the California Assembly and will take effect Jan. 1, 2019, if passed.
Connecticut: A state budget implementation bill that includes a licensing requirement for manufacturers and dealers of electronic cigarettes and vapor products was signed into law by the state’s governor June 2.
Louisiana: A House bill that reduces the time in which tobacco dealers may appeal a decision to withhold, suspend or revoke a license from 30 days to 10 days was ratified by the state Senate. The measure is now eligible to be signed into law by the governor.
Maryland: A House bill to increase the fee for a license to sell cigarettes in Montgomery County, from $25 to $125, was enacted May 28. The law becomes effective Oct. 1, 2016.
Massachusetts: A bill to increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 received a pass recommendation from the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, previously passing in the state Senate in April. If enacted, the new minimum purchase age would go into effect Jan. 1, 2017.
Minnesota: Gov. Mark Dayton (D) pocket vetoed a tax bill with a provision that would remove the state’s annual cigarette excise tax increase. The measure would have removed Minnesota’s annual excise tax inflation passed in 2013.
New Jersey: A Senate bill to raise the legal age to 21 for the purchase of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes passed the Senate on May 26.
New York: Albany County, N.Y., executive Dan McCoy on June 8 signed a measure that raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21. The law becomes effective immediately after being filed with the state.
Vermont: The governor May 31 signed a House bill that would require any retailer of tobacco substitutes (e-cigarettes, vaporizers, etc.) to obtain a tobacco substitute endorsement from the Department of Liquor Control (requiring a fee of $5); raise the tobacco licensing or renewal annual fee from $100 to $110; and require a manufacturer's registration fee for any person manufacturing tobacco substitutes for sale in the state of $1,000 per brand annually.
West Virginia: Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) on June 8 vetoed a budget bill, saying he and the state Senate had reached a bipartisan agreement on the amended budget. The revised budget will increase the cigarette excise tax by 65 cents (to $1.20 per pack). Other cigarette excise-tax proposals are still pending, including one that would increase the tax by $1 per pack.