An Update on State E-Cigarette Legislation

Published in Tobacco E-News

Taxes, age restrictions dominate proposals

By  Thomas A. Briant, Executive Director

MINNEAPOLIS -- With the vast majority of state legislatures now having begun their 2014 legislative sessions, there have been a number of bills introduced regarding electronic cigarettes. In particular, some state legislatures are considering taxing e-cigarettes under several different tax rates and a number of states have bills pending that would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to underage youth. The following is a brief summary of the e-cigarette bills that NATO is monitoring: 
 
E-Cigarette Tax Bills
 
Indiana: House Bill 1174 would include e-cigarettes under the definition of tobacco products and apply the state’s 24% tax on tobacco products to e-cigarettes.
 
Kentucky: Governor Steve Beshear is proposing to tax e-cigarettes at a 20% OTP rate. House Bill 220 redefines alternative tobacco products to be other tobacco products and imposes a 15% tax on these products. House Bill 319 defines e-cigarette as a tobacco product and imposes a 15% OTP tax on e-cigarettes.                 
 
New Jersey: Governor Chris Christie announced a new budget proposal this week that would tax e-cigarettes on the same basis as traditional cigarettes. Currently, the cigarette tax in New Jersey is $2.70 per pack.
 
New York: Senate Bill 6255 would exempt e-cigarettes from state taxation. However, Assembly Bill No. 8594 would impose the state’s 75% OTP tax rate on e-cigarettes. 
 
Oklahoma: House Bill 2989 imposes a 30% tax rate on e-cigarettes. Senate Bill 1892 would tax tobacco-derived products at a rate of $.10 per tobacco-derived product unit and the tax shall not exceed one-tenth the rate of the cigarette tax. 
 
Oregon: House Bill 4129 would tax e-cigarettes at 81.25%.
 
Rhode Island: Governor Lincoln Chaffee introduced his Fiscal Year 2015 budget that includes e-cigarettes within the state’s current definition of “tobacco products” which means e-cigarettes would be subject to Rhode Island’s 80% tax on tobacco products. House Bill 7133 incorporates the Governor’s proposed tax on e-cigarettes.
 
Tennessee: House Bill 1461 defines vapor products and clarifies that policies and taxes applicable to tobacco products are not applicable to vapor products.
 
Washington: Senate Bill 6569 would tax e-cigarettes as a tobacco product at a 95% OTP tax rate.
 
E-Cigarette Bills Banning Sales to Minors
 
Colorado: Senate Bill 18 prohibits furnishing or selling nicotine products to minors, including electronic cigarettes.
 
Connecticut: Senate Bill 24 prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.
 
Delaware: House Bill 241 defines tobacco substitute to include electronic cigarettes and prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to a minor. 
 
Georgia: House Bill 251, a carryover bill from 2013, defines alternative nicotine products and prohibits the sale of nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, to minors. Senate Bill 347 prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.
 
Iowa: House Bill 2109 and Senate Bill 566 define alternative nicotine and vapor products and prohibit the sale of these products to anyone under 18 years old.
 
Kentucky: House Bill 299 defines vapor products and prohibits the sale of vapor type products to anyone under the age of 18.  
 
Louisiana: Senate Bill 12 adds “alternative nicotine product” to present law which would prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to individuals under the age of 18.
 
New Mexico: House Bill 15 prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.
 
Oklahoma: Senate Bill 1835, House Bill 2904 and House Bill 3451 would prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.
 
South Dakota: Senate Bill 181 would prohibit the sale of tobacco products, alternative nicotine products and vapor products to minors.
 
Vermont: House Bill 632 would ban the sale or possession of electronic cigarettes by anyone of any age.
 
Virginia: Senate Bill 96 adds vapor products and alternative nicotine products to the definition of tobacco products and prohibits the possession of these products by minors and outlaws the sale of these products to minors.
 
West Virginia: House Bill 4237 would prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.