Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and many tobacco retailers having closed or re-phasing in their reopening 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:
California: Senate Bill 793, which prohibits the sale of all flavored tobacco products and flavored tobacco product enhancers, excepting shisha sales in hookah tobacco retailers, passed the Senate on June 25, 2020.
Iowa: Senate Bill 2268, which increases the minimum sales age for tobacco and vapor products to 21, was signed by the Governor on June 29, 2020. It is immediately effective upon enactment.
New Hampshire: Before adjourning the 2020 regular session on June 30, Senate Bill 248, which increases the age for sales and possession of tobacco products, was “laid on table” in the Senate. House Bill 1245, the omnibus bill which concerned state agencies and included language to increase the age for sales and possession of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to age 21, received concurrence in the House.
INorth Carolina: House Bill 1080, which reduces the excise tax on tobacco products if those products are approved for modified-risk status by the Food and Drug Administration, was signed by the Governor on June 30, 2020.
Newly Introduced State Tobacco Bills
Georgia: House Bill 1229 increases the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack, increases the OTP tax from 23% to 39% of the wholesale cost price, and imposes a tax on vapor products at the OTP tax rate of 39% of the wholesale cost price.
*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.