OPINIONTobacco

See What Tobacco-Related Bills Your State Is Proposing

NATO gives a state-by-state look at recent legislative actions
Cigarettes
Photograph: Shutterstock

LAKEVILLE, Minn. — From Georgia to Alaska, states are proposing regulation on tobacco products.

State tobacco-related legislative bills that have been introduced since the previous update are listed below alphabetically by state:

  • Georgia: Senate Bill 572 relates to the sale of vapor products. It defines illicit vapor products, requires manufacturers to deliver an attestation to the state attorney general (AG) certifying the manufacturer has applied for a premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) or has a marketing order or other authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • Missouri: House Bill 2868 increases the cigarette tax by 10 cents per pack (subject to voter approval). Senate Bill 1158 (similar to HB2463) authorizes the state to preempt the field regulating the sale of tobacco products, alternative nicotine products and vapor products.
  • New Jersey: Senate Bill 1775 (same as AB879) limits the taxation of cigars under the Tobacco and Vapor Products Tax Act to a maximum of 50 cents per cigar. Assembly Bill 2797 (same as SB1039) revises the requirements for the sale of tobacco and vapor products; increases penalties for prohibited sales; increases the fee for cigarette and vapor business licensure; and prohibits the sale of vaping liquid with a nicotine content greater than 2%. Senate Bill 1841 increases the tax rate on certain tobacco products (from 30% to 90% of wholesale) to be on par with the tax rate imposed on cigarettes (excludes moist snuff and liquid nicotine); increases the tax on moist snuff from 75 cents to $2.25 per ounce; and includes a floor tax.
  • West Virginia: Senate Bill 71 allows political subdivisions to regulate the sale and marketing of tobacco products and vapor products.

State tobacco-related legislative bills that have been acted on by a state legislative committee or state legislature are listed below alphabetically by state:

  • Alaska: House Bill 110, which is a carryover bill from the 2021 legislative session, imposes a tax on electronic smoking products (including e-liquid) at the rate of 75% of the wholesale price and increases the legal age to purchase and possess tobacco and vapor products to 21 years of age.
  • Colorado: House Bill 1064 prohibits the sale and distribution of all flavored cigarettes, tobacco products and nicotine products (includes flavored synthetic nicotine products).
  • Hawaii: House Bill 1570, which, effective July 1, 2060, bans the sale of flavored tobacco and synthetic nicotine products; prohibits marketing electronic smoking devices to appeal to underage persons; and defines heated smoking products as electronic smoking devices, passed House Consumer Protection & Commerce Committee on Feb. 24.
  • Idaho: Senate Bill 1285 prohibits any locality from enacting ordinances regulating the marketing or sale of tobacco or vapor products and prohibits localities from imposing additional taxes or fees on tobacco products or vapor products. It was amended in the Senate on March 2.
  • Indiana: Senate Bill 382, which currently includes a tax on alternative nicotine products, as defined, at 40 cents per ounce; a tax on closed system cartridges at 15% of the wholesale price; a requirement that remote sellers, as defined, to be licensed and subject to tobacco taxes, passed the House and was sent to the Senate for concurrence on Feb. 28. The Conference Committee met on March 3, 2022.
  • Maine: LD 1693/HP1258, which bans flavored products (including menthol), doubles the cigarette tax to $4 per pack and increases other tobacco product (OTP) taxes by 100%, was voted on, resulting in a “divided report” in the Joint Committee on Health and Human Services on March 2.
  • Maryland: House Bill 477 authorizes a county or municipality to enact and enforce local laws to regulate the sale and distribution of cigarettes, OTP and electronic smoking devices (excludes taxes and issuance of licenses). House Bill 1227, which adds synthetic nicotine to the definition of tobacco products, was withdrawn from further consideration on March 1.
  • New Hampshire: Senate Bill 314, which reduces the state excise tax on modified risk tobacco products, was referred for interim study by the Senate on Feb. 24.
  • Utah: Senate Bill 130, which exempts e-cigarette products receiving FDA marketing authorization from nicotine content limitations, died by rule on March 1.
  • Virginia: Senate Bill 748 (same as HB1199), which addresses remote sellers regarding taxation, licensing and record keeping; would lower OTP tax rates, passed the House on Feb. 24 and was enrolled in the Senate on Feb. 28 (eligible for the Governor’s desk). House Bill 1199 (same as SB748) passed the Senate on March 2. House Bill 1076 (similar to SB25), which requires any locality that increases its tax rate on cigarettes to allow a person with unsold inventory to pay the tax increase on the unsold inventory by filing a return for one calendar year after the tax increase; defines "unsold inventory" for the purposes of this provision to mean cigarettes held prior to the tax rate increase, passed the Senate on Feb. 24 and enrolled in the House on Feb. 28. Senate Bill 25 (like HB1076), received Senate concurrence on March 2.

Thomas A. Briant is the executive director of NATO, a tobacco retailing association based in Lakeville, Minn. Reach him at info@natocentral.org.

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