“Tobacco to 21” Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate 

A bill entitled the “Tobacco to 21 Act” (Senate Bill 2100) was introduced in the U.S. Senate to prohibit the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21.  The bill was introduced by Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Senator Mazie Horono (D-Hawaii), Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Senator Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut).  The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Washington, DC Vapor Tax Goes Into Effect on October 1st

Effective October 1, 2015, the tax rate on other tobacco products sold in the District of Columbia decreases from 70% to 67% of the wholesale price and the 67% tax rate will also apply to vapor products. The term “vapor product” means any “non-lighting, noncombustible product that employs a mechanical heating element, battery, or electronic circuit, regardless of the shape or size, that can be used to produce aerosol from nicotine in a solution or any vapor cartridge or other container of nicotine in a solution or other form that is intended to be used with or in an electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, electronic pipe, or similar product or device.”

The 67% excise tax will be imposed on the wholesale price of disposable e-cigarettes, plus nicotine cartridges, tanks, batteries, atomizers, cartomizers, and mouthpieces. Accessories that are not a part of the device itself such as a battery charger will not be subject to the 67% excise tax.

Chicago Mayor Emanuel Proposes E-Vapor Tax

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed a new tax of $1.25 for every container or cartridge of e-cigarette liquid plus 25 cents per milliliter of liquid nicotine solution.  The proposal is part of a number of tax and fee increases that the mayor is seeking to fund underfunded city pensions.  The tax on e-cigarettes and e-vapor is projected to generate about $1 million.

Other State Legislative Action

Alabama:  House Bill 3, which increases the cigarette tax by 25 cents per pack, and requires a floor tax on wholesalers, was signed into law by the Governor Robert Bentley.  The cigarette tax increase goes into effect on October 1, 2015.