Update on Recent Legislation Affecting Premium Cigars

Interesting legislative news posted today from the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, Inc. (NATO)*. Below are some highlights of activity on state tobacco bills that pertain to the brothers & sisters of the leaf.

Legislative Action on State Tobacco Bills Recent action that has taken place on tobacco-related bills pending in state legislatures:


Hawaii:

  1. House Bill 1634, which changes the excise tax on large cigars from 70% of wholesale to the lesser of 50 cents or 50% of the wholesale price, passed House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce on February 17.

  2. Senate Bill 2135, which changes the excise tax on large cigars from 70% of wholesale to the lesser of 50 cents or 50% of the wholesale price, passed Senate Ways and Means Committee on February 17.


Maryland: House Bill 775, which increases the tobacco purchase age to 21, is scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on March 8, 2016.


New Hampshire: House Bill 1208, which changes several definitions to the tobacco tax laws, including the definition of a premium cigar by removing the criteria that premium cigars wholesale for $2.00 or more, reported favorably from the House Ways & Means Committee on February 17, 2016.

New Jersey: Assembly Bill 2320, which raises the minimum age for the purchase and sale of tobacco products and electronic smoking devices from 19 to 21, will be heard in the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee on February 22, 2016.

Newly Introduced State Tobacco Bills The following bills were recently introduced in state legislatures:


Maryland: House Bill 1485 allows local governments to enact and enforce laws relating to other tobacco products, except for licenses and taxes.


Rhode Island: Senate Bill 2410 increases the tobacco purchase age to 21 (includes nicotine-delivery systems).


*NATO is a national trade association organized to enhance the common business interests of all tobacco retailers and to monitor and assist members in responding to tobacco-related legislation on the local, state and federal levels.

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