State Tobacco and E-Cigarette Legislative Overview

Only a handful of anti-tobacco measures have passed this year

Published in Tobacco E-News

By
Thomas A. Briant, Executive Director

State Tobacco Regulations
MINNEAPOLIS -- With only eight state legislatures still in session this year, a clearer picture of the outcome of tobacco and e-cigarette legislation is emerging. So far this year, very few tobacco and e-cigarette bills have been passed and enacted into law despite the fact that 25 state legislatures considered cigarette and/or tobacco tax-rate increases, 16 states debated bills to assess a tax on e-cigarettes, and 14 states deliberated bills to restrict the use of e-cigarettes/vaping in public places.
 
Below is a summary of state legislative activity so far in 2014:
 
Cigarette and/or Tobacco Tax Increases
 
Tax increases on cigarettes and/or tobacco products were proposed but failed in Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
 
Vermont enacted a tax increase on cigarettes/little cigars and smokeless tobacco effective July 1, 2014. The cigarette/little-cigar tax increase is 13 cents per pack for a new rate of $2.75 per pack. The new law also raises the excise tax rate on moist snuff to $2.29 per ounce, or $2.75 per 1.2 oz. can or tin, and changes the tax rate on other smokeless-tobacco products to the greater of $2.29 per ounce or, if the package contains less than 1.2 ounces, $2.75 per package. The original legislation proposed raising the cigarette tax by $1.30 per pack and assessing a 92% tax on the wholesale cost of e-cigarettes.
 
Those states with cigarette and/or tobacco product tax increase bills still pending are:
  • California ($2.00 per pack cigarette tax increase)
  • Massachusetts (bill to increase the tax on other tobacco products to 45% designated for a revenue study)
  • Michigan (bill to tax moist snuff at 53 cents per ounce as opposed to the current 32% tax rate)
  • New York ($1.65-per-pack cigarette tax increase)
  • Ohio (60 cents per pack cigarette tax increase over two years and 49% tax on other tobacco products over two years)
  • Pennsylvania (bill to allow the City of Philadelphia to assess a $2.00-per-pack cigarette tax to fund the Philadelphia Public School District).
 
E-Cigarette Tax Proposals
 
Bills to assess a new tax on e-cigarettes were proposed but not enacted in Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont and Washington.
 
North Carolina enacted a tax on nicotine in a solution used for electronic-vapor products at a rate of 5 cents per fluid milliliter of consumable nicotine solution product.
 
Those states with a proposed e-cigarette tax still pending include:
  • Michigan (a tax of 15 cents per 1.5 milliliters on the nicotine solution in vapor products including electronic cigarettes)
  • New York (a 75% tobacco products excise tax on e-cigarettes)
  • Ohio (a proposal to assess the $1.85-per-pack cigarette tax on e-cigarettes)
Public Restrictions on E-Cigarette Use/Vaping
 
Bills to restrict the use of electronic cigarettes in public places were proposed but failed in Alaska, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Oregon, South Carolina and Vermont.
 
Minnesota enacted a law prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in government-owned buildings and schools.
 
Those states with e-cigarette/vaping-use bills still pending are California, Delaware, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.