In addition to moves on the minimum purchase-age of tobacco and tobacco taxes, lawmakers in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts and New York worked on additional rules governing tobacco in their states.
In Alaska, the following bills passed the House on May 12: Senate Bill 15, which would prohibit minors from purchasing or possessing electronic-smoking products and require any person who sells them to obtain a business license; and Senate Bill 63, which would prohibit smoking and the use of electronic cigarettes in enclosed areas of public places.
In California, Senate Bill 836 would prohibit smoking, including the use of electronic cigarettes, on state coastal beaches, except in places permitted by the State Department of Parks and Recreation or as part of a religious practice. The bill was amended May 15 to pre-empt local laws on the subject.
In Connecticut, House Bill 5293, which would prohibit the self-service display of vapor products in any retail establishment except where minors are prohibited from entering, passed the Senate on May 9.
House Bill 1895 in Hawaii, which touched on the legal age of purchase, also would regulate tobacco products and electronic-smoking devices by requiring retailers of such devices to register with the state attorney general’s office, allow display of all tobacco products only in locked containers or places inaccessible to the public, pre-empt local jurisdictions from enacting laws regulating the sale of tobacco products and void any local tobacco-retailing laws already adopted. That bill passed both houses and was sent for the governor’s signature May 2.
In Massachusetts, House Bill 4486 (formerly House Bill 4479), which would raise the legal age of purchase for tobacco products to 21, would also prohibit the use of vending machines for the sale of tobacco products; require child-resistant packaging for e-liquid containers (except prefilled products); and prohibit the sale of tobacco products at healthcare institutions. That bill passed the House on May 9. On May 15, it was read and referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
In New York, lawmakers introduced the following bills:
- Assembly Bill 10711 would require all companies that sell electronic cigarettes to annually disclose to the commissioner of health their online advertising expenditures from the previous fiscal year.
- Senate Bill 6325 would increase penalties for certain violations relating to the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products and would require the revocation of a license to sell lottery tickets and revocation of a liquor license.
- Senate Bill 8609 would require registration of vendors of electronic cigarettes.