The following bills had action recently by state legislatures:
Colorado: Senate Bill 139, which permanently extends the ability for distributors to claim a credit for taxes paid on tobacco products that are shipped or transported by the distributor to a consumer outside the state, passed the Senate and moved to the House on February 28, 2017.
Connecticut: House Bill 5384, which raises the legal age to purchase and use tobacco products to 21, was referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health on March 1, 2017.
Hawaii: Senate Bill 404, which imposes an excise tax of 70% of the wholesale price on e-cigarettes and related items, requires retailers that only sell e-cigarettes to obtain a retail tobacco permit, and increases the annual retail tobacco permit fee from $20 to $50 per location, passed Senate Committee on Ways and Means on February 27, 2017.
Idaho: Senate Bill 1106, which increases the legal age to purchase tobacco products and vapor products from 18 to 21 years of age, was defeated in a public hearing in the Senate State Affairs Committee on March 3, 2017.
Indiana: House Bill 1578, which repeals the smokers’ bill of rights, passed the House on February 27, 2017. House Bill 1001, the state budget bill which includes a $1.00 per pack cigarette tax, passed the House on February 27, 2017 and will be heard in the Senate. Senate Bill 1 that removes date restrictions currently in the state law regarding e-vapor products and repeals certain requirements for an initial e-liquids manufacturing permit, passed the Senate on February 28, 2017.
Kansas: Governor Brownback’s tax increase proposals (House Bill 2315 and Senate Bill 175) on cigarettes and tobacco products were considered in hearings on February 23, 2017. HB2315 received a “Do Pass as Amended” recommendation in the House Taxation Committee and SB175 received a “Do Pass as Amended” recommendation in the Senate Assessments and Taxation Committee. Both bills increase the tax on cigarettes by $1.00 per pack (from $1.29 per pack to $2.29 per pack) and also double the tax on tobacco products from 10% to 20% of the wholesale price.
Maryland: House Bill 354, which prohibits the use of e-cigarettes in indoor areas open to the public, indoor places of employment and certain designated private areas (excludes vapor retail stores) was reported unfavorably from the House Economic Matters Committee on February 27, 2017.
Michigan: Senate Bill 74, which increases fines on sales to minors from $50 per occurrence to $100 on the first occurrence and $500 for each subsequent occurrence, passed Senate Judiciary Committee on February 8, 2017.
Mississippi: The following bills have died in committee: (1) House Bill 1721, which increases the excise tax on cigarettes by $1.00; (2) House Bill 1204, which prohibits smoking and the use of e-cigarettes in public; (3) House Bill 1310 and Senate Bill 2449, which provide for determining the cost to the retailer below which the retailer may not sell cigarettes; (4) House Bill 1312 and Senate Bill 2464, which provide that if a retailer has not paid a tobacco wholesaler or distributor, the wholesaler or distributor is to notify the Commissioner of Revenue, who will in turn notify all tobacco wholesalers and distributors, and that future deliveries to the retailer may only be done on a C.O.D. basis until further order of the Commissioner; and (6) Senate Bill 2578, which repeals the Unfair Cigarette Sales Law.
New Jersey: Assembly Bill 3704, which prohibits the sale or distribution of flavored electronic smoking devices, passed the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee on February 27, 2017. Assembly Bill 4620, which prohibits the use of coupons, price rebates and price reduction promotions in sales of tobacco and vapor products, passed the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee and moved to the Assembly Appropriations Committee on February 27, 2017.
New Mexico: Senate Bill 231, which increases the state cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack, increases the tax on other tobacco products an additional 51% of the purchase price, and also includes “electronic cigarettes” in the definition of “tobacco products” with the sole purpose of imposing a new tax on electronic cigarettes at rate of 76% of the purchase price, received a “Do Pass as Amended” recommendation from the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee on February 23, 2017. SB231 was also referred to the Senate Finance Committee where it has not yet been considered.
New York: Assembly Bill 2103, which prohibits the use of coupons or use of a price reduction instrument to lower the price of certain tobacco products, passed the Assembly Health Committee on March 1, 2017.
Texas: House Bill 628, which increases the legal age to purchase cigarettes, tobacco products, and electronic cigarettes, from 18 to 21 years of age, was referred to the House Public Health Committee on February 22, 2017.
Wyoming: House Bill 151, which increases the tax on cigarettes by $.30 per pack, received a “Do Not Pass” recommendation from the Senate Revenue Committee on February 28, 2017.
Utah: House Bill 325, which increases the penalties on retailers selling tobacco to underage persons, passed the House Committee on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice on February 24, 2017. 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, passed House on February 28, 2017.