Update on Recent Legislation Affecting Premium Cigars
April 2, 2018
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:
Connecticut: Senate Bill 164, which raises the legal age to 21 to purchase tobacco products (exempts any person age 18 years or older prior to October 1, 2018), reported favorably from the Joint Committee on Public Health on March 26, 2018.
Hawaii: Senate Bill 2843, which, as amended in its entirety, effective July 1, 3000, increases the tax on cigarettes and little cigars from $3.20 to $4.50 per pack, the excise tax on OTP other than large cigars from 70% to 80% of the wholesale price, and the retailer license fee from $2.50 to $500.00, passed House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce with an amendment on March 20.
Kansas: House Bill 2768, which increases the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack, was referred to the House Appropriations Committee. Senate Bill 376, which increases the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack and also increases the tax on OTP from 10% to 65% of the wholesale price, was considered in a hearing in the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee on March 22, 2018.
Utah:House Bill 324, which, as amended, requires tobacco retailers to obtain a city or county permit and changes the definition of those businesses considered retail tobacco specialty stores (and therefore prohibited from being located in certain areas) to include any business that obtains more than 35% of its revenue from tobacco sales, devotes 20% or more of its display or shelf space to tobacco products, or has a self-service display for tobacco products, but grandfathers in such retailers lawfully in business on December 31, 2015, was signed by the Governor on March 19, 2018. House Bill 296 died, which would have increased the age for sale, purchase, use and possession of tobacco products from 19 to 20 effective July 1, 2019 and from 20 to 21 effective Jan. 1, 2020.
Washington: House Bill 1054, which increases the legal age to purchase tobacco products and vapor products from 18 to 21 years of age, failed due to adjournment of the legislature.
Newly Introduced State Tobacco Bills
Georgia: House Bill 1074 raises the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack, increases the tax on cigars by 19% and increases tax on smokeless tobacco by 32% 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.