Update on Recent Legislation Affecting Premium Cigars


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:

Arizona: House Bill 2826, which raises the minimum legal sales age to 21 and provides penalties for businesses selling to underage patrons, passed House on February 26, 2020. House Bill 2853, which raises the minimum legal sales age to 21 and provides penalties for businesses selling to underage patrons, passed House Commerce Committee on February 18, 2020. Senate Bill 1400, which raises the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21, requires retailers to verify age of purchasers who are under 30, creates a state tobacco retail licensing program and authorizes local jurisdictions to license and further regulate tobacco products, failed in Senate Commerce on February 20, 2020.


Idaho: Senate Bill 1308, which increases the legal purchase age for tobacco products and vapor products from 18 to 21 years of age, failed to pass the Senate on February 27, 2020.


Indiana: Senate Bill 1, which prohibits a person under age 21 from buying or possessing tobacco products or electronic cigarettes; and increases civil penalties for underage sales, was amended and passed the House Public Health Committee on February 26, 2020. House Bill 1006, which prohibits the sale of vapor products to minors; increases penalties for tobacco product sales to minors; prohibits a tobacco retailer from being located within 1,000 ft. of a school (current retailers grandfathered), was amended and passed the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee on February 26, 2020.


Iowa: House Bill 2588, which increases the minimum sales age for tobacco and vapor products to 21, passed House Committee on State Government February 27, 2020.


Minnesota: Senate File 463, which increases the legal age to purchase tobacco products and vapor products from 18 to 21 years of age, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 26, 2020.


South Dakota: House Bill 1063, which raises the age to purchase tobacco products to twenty-one years of age, passed the Senate and sent to Governor on February 20, 2020.


Utah: House Bill 23, which, as amended, requires retail tobacco specialty businesses to electronically verify proof of age for anyone entering the premises and prohibit those under 21 and unaccompanied by a parent or guardian from entering those businesses unless they are there for a purpose other than to purchase a tobacco product, passed House Business and Labor Committee with an amendment on February 25, 2020. House Bill 118, which, as amended, amends the regulation of retail tobacco specialty businesses by including in that regulation businesses that sell flavored electronic cigarette products; requires tobacco retailers, for each sale of tobacco products, to provide to the customer, and keep a record of, the name of the product sold, the amount charged, and the time and date of the sale; removes the state preemption of local ordinances regarding tobacco sales and the sales of flavored electronic cigarettes; and prohibits certain discounts and giveaways of tobacco products, passed House on February 25, 2020. Senate Bill 37, which, as amended, increases the minimum legal sales age to 21, taxes electronic cigarettes and related products at 56% of the manufacturers sales price effective July 1, 2020 and alternative nicotine devices at the rate of $1.83 per ounce (effective July 1, 2021), reduces taxes by 25% or 50% for those tobacco products determined by the FDA to be modified risk products (the amount of the reduction depending on the method by which the product qualifies as modified risk), passed Senate Health and Human Services Committee with an amendment on February 26, 2020.


Wisconsin: Assembly Bill 422 and Senate Bill 364, which increase the age to purchase tobacco products to 21 years of age, passed the Assembly and moved to the Senate on February 20, 2020.


Wyoming: Senate Bill 50, which increases the legal age to purchase, possess, and use nicotine products to 21 years of age, passed the Senate on February 24, 2020.

Newly Introduced State Tobacco Bills


Iowa: House Bill 2588, increases the minimum sales age for tobacco and vapor products to 21 years of age.


Mississippi: House Bill 1407 imposes an excise tax on vapor products of 15% of the manufacturer’s list price, the same as the OTP tax rate, and increases the purchase age for tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21 years of age.


Missouri: House Bill 2614 imposes an excise tax on vapor products at a rate of 10% of the manufacturer’s invoice price, increases the purchase age for tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21 years of age and would prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco and vapor products.


*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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