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:


California: Senate Bill 1470, which, for purposes of the tobacco store exception to the self-service display ban, revises the definition to include only those stores that primarily sell tobacco products and paraphernalia, passed Senate Appropriations Committee on Appropriations Committee on April 25, 2016.

Nebraska: The following bills failed due to adjournment:

  1. Legislative Bill 727 - a tax of 1% on each sale of tobacco for all individuals who hold a cigar shop license;

  2. Legislative Bill 762 - an increase in the tax on cigars to 22% of the purchase price;

  3. Legislative Bill 1013 - an increase of the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack and an increase in the tax on OTP from 20% to 31%); and Legislative Bill 1058 (included cigars in the list of products that are prohibited from being sold to a minor.


Washington: House Bill 2313 and Senate Bill 6157, both of which would have increased the legal purchase age from 18 to 21 years of age, failed due to adjournment.


Rhode Island: The following bills are scheduled for a public hearing on May 3, 2016:

  1. House Bill 7373, which modifies the definition of little cigars to 4.5 pounds per thousand, requires little cigars be sold in packs of 20 or more and taxes little cigars as cigarettes;

  2. House Bill 7737, which increases the tobacco purchase age to 21 (includes nicotine-delivery systems)


Vermont: House Bill 171, which prohibits the use of electronic cigarettes in the same places where the use of lighted tobacco products is banned and prohibits electronic cigarette displays on store counters, passed the House and Senate on concurrence on April 26, 2016.

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


New Jersey: Senate Bill 2135 prohibits the sale of tobacco products and electronic smoking devices at pharmacies.



*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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