The following bills were recently introduced in state legislatures:
Connecticut: Senate Bill 787 increases the cigarette tax by $.45 per pack (to $4.35), the cap on cigars by $1.00 per cigar (to $1.50), and the tax on moist snuff by $2.00 per ounce (to $3.00).
Florida: House Bill 649 creates two separate surcharge taxes on a pack of 20 cigarettes of $2.00 per pack and $.339 per pack. The bill also imposes two other surcharges per cigarette of $.042 and $.0141 on cigarettes in packs other than a pack of 20 cigarettes.
Illinois: House Bill 3208, which raises the minimum legal sales age and possession of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21, was introduced on February 9, 2017. House Bill 3809, which extends the current self-service display ban to include all tobacco products and prohibits the display of candy within 5 feet of a counter that has tobacco products behind it, was introduced on February 10, 2017. House Bill 3807, which creates the Vapor Products Regulatory Act for purposes of regulating retail sellers of vapor products and removes vapor products from the Tobacco Use by Minors and Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products Act, was introduced on February 10, 2017.
Nevada: Senate Bill 181, which increases the tax on cigarettes from $1.80 to $2.40, was introduced and assigned to the Senate Committee on Judiciary on February 13.
Minnesota: Senate Bill 849 modifies the excise tax on premium cigars by lowering the maximum tax per cigar from $3.50 per cigar to $.50 per cigar. Currently premium cigars are taxed a rate of 95% of the wholesale sales price or $3.50 per cigar whichever is the lower amount. House Bill 1363 would change the tax on larger containers of moist snuff from 95% of the wholesale cost to $3.04 per 1.2 ounces of moist snuff in the container.
Montana: Governor Bullock has proposed tax increases on cigarettes and OTP and is also attempting to impose a new tax on vapor products. The Governor’s proposal would increase the state cigarette tax by $.50 per pack (from $1.70 per pack to $2.20 per pack), increase the tax on other tobacco products an additional 15% (from 50% to 65% of the wholesale price), and also includes “vapor products” in the definition of “tobacco products” for the sole purpose of imposing a new tax on electronic cigarettes at the rate of 65% of the wholesale price. This proposal is still in draft status and not yet been assigned a bill number.
Oregon: Senate Bill 799 would permit the use of vapor products on the premises of a manufacturer of vapor products and on the premises of a retail vapor shop, provided the retail establishment does not allow individuals under the age of 18 on the premises and has a maximum seating capacity of 10 persons. Senate Bill 754, which raises the legal purchase age for tobacco products and vapor products from 18 to 21 years of age, was considered in a public hearing in the Senate Health Care Committee on February 14, 2017.
Rhode Island: House Bill 5506 requires that a fifteen percent (15%) minimum markup be added to the total cost of cigarettes sold by retailers.
Texas: House Bill 1908 and Senate Bill 910 increase the legal age to purchase cigarettes, tobacco products, and electronic cigarettes from 18 to 21 years of age.
Utah: House Bill 370, which requires retail tobacco specialty businesses to obtain state and local permits to operate, expands the state smoking ban to include the use of additional e-cigarette products including those not derived from tobacco and increases penalties on sellers to underage persons, was introduced on February 15, 2017.
Washington: House Bill 1919, which allows a person holding a tobacco products retailer’s license to apply for a special endorsement as a cigar lounge or retail tobacconist shop, was held in the House on February 14, 2017 after executive action was taken by the House Business and Financial Services Committee.
West Virginia: House Bill 2331 increases the legal age to purchase tobacco products and vapor products from 18 years old to 21 years old.