The following bills had action recently by state legislatures:
Arizona: House Bill 2335, which increases the legal age to purchase tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21 and extends the smoking ban to include e-cigarettes, died without the possibility of reinstatement by missing a procedural deadline on March 24, 2017.
Arkansas: House Bill 1711, which raises the legal age to purchase tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21, failed to pass the House on March 27, 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 the House Committees on Health, Consumer Protection and Commerce and Finance on March 22, 2017.
Indiana: House Bill 1001 (the state budget bill), which included a cigarette tax increase of $1.00 per pack, was amended to remove the cigarette tax and adopted by the Senate Appropriations Committee on March 30, 2017. Senate Bill 1, which removes date restrictions in the e-liquids statutes and removes certain requirements for an initial e-liquids manufacturing permit, was amended and adopted in the House Public Policy Committee on March 29, 2017.
Kansas: Senate Bill 130, which decreases the excise tax on consumable material for e-cigarettes by 15 cents per milliliter (from 20 cents per milliliter to 5 cents per milliliter), passed the Senate on March 16, 2017 and was considered in a hearing in the House Taxation Committee on March 23, 2017.
Maine: House Bill 673 (LD945), which increases the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack with a floor tax, was heard in the Joint Taxation Committee on March 27, 2017.
Minnesota: House File 4 specifies that a container of moist snuff weighing more than 1.2 ounces is subject to an excise tax of either 95% of the wholesale price, or a minimum tax equal to $3.04 multiplied by the number of ounces of moist snuff in the container, divided by 1.2, whichever is greater. House File 4 also modifies the tax on premium cigars by lowering the maximum tax per cigar from $3.50 per cigar to 50 cents per cigar. House File 4 passed the House Ways and Means Committee on March 28, 2017.
Montana: Senate Bill 354, which increases the state cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack, increases the tax on other tobacco products an additional 24% of the wholesale price, and includes "vapor products" in the definition of "tobacco products" with the sole purpose of imposing a new tax on electronic cigarettes at the rate of 74% of the wholesale price, passed the Senate and moved to the House on March 30, 2017.
New Mexico: Senate Bill 318, which prohibits the use of vapor where smoking is already prohibited, passed the House on March 18, 2017.
Oregon: House Bill 3178, which imposes a tax on vapor products at the rate of 95% of the wholesale price (excludes an inhalant delivery system that when sold does not contain e-liquid), was considered in a public hearing in the House Revenue Committee on March 21, 2017. Senate Bill 799, which allows the use of vapor products in retail vapor stores, was considered in a hearing in the Senate Health Committee on March 30, 2017. Senate Bill 754, which increases the legal age to purchase tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21 years of age, passed the Senate and moved to the House on March 23, 2017 and subsequently referred to the House Health Care Committee on March 27, 2017.
Texas: House Bill 1908, which increases the legal age to purchase tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21 years of age, was considered in a public hearing in the House Public Health Committee on March 28, 2017. House Bill 2514, which increases the excise tax on cigarettes by $.25 per pack, was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee on March 23, 2017. Senate Bill 1505, which redefines “cigarette” to include little cigars, thus increasing the tax on little cigars to $1.41 per pack, was referred to the Senate Finance Committee on March 20, 2017.
Vermont: Senate Bill 88, which increases the smoking age from 18 to 21, was amended to exempt persons attaining the age of 18 on or before July 1, 2017; the bill was reported favorably from the Senate Health & Welfare Committee on March 23, 2017.
Washington: The following bills were considered in the House Finance Committee on March 21, 2017: House Bill 2144, which imposes a tax on vapor products at 95% of the taxable sales price, and House Bill 2165, which imposes a tax on vapor products at 60% of the taxable sales price, and requires manufacturer’s and retail distributors of vapor products to be licensed.