Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and many tobacco retailers being closed for business, legislation on tobacco and premium cigars remains active. More interesting legislative news posted on over the past few days 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:
Alabama: Two bills died on adjournment of the Legislature on May 18, 2020: HB43 would have authorized Baldwin County to levy a 10% tax on the sale of any alternative nicotine products and electronic nicotine delivery systems; and HB119 would have increased the state’s legal age to purchase and possess tobacco products and vapor products from 18 to 21.
Minnesota: House File 331, which increases the tobacco sales age to 21 years of age and adds charter schools to the prohibition of tobacco in schools was signed by the Governor on May 16, 2020; effective August 8, 2020. The Minnesota Legislature has adjourned, all bills not passed during the 2019-20 biennium have now failed.
Oklahoma: Senate Bill 1423, which raises the legal age to purchase and possess tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21 years of age, was signed by the Governor on May 19, 2020.
Newly Introduced State Tobacco Bills
North Carolina: House Bill 1080 and Senate Bill 727 reduce the excise tax on tobacco products if those products are approved for modified-risk status by the Food and Drug Administration.
*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.