Tackling Tobacco: February 2023 Legislative & Regulatory Roundup

Tobacco-related bills died in Arizona, New Hampshire and Washington.
Tobacco and cigarettes with 100 dollar bills

NATIONAL REPORT — Tobacco legislation and regulation is constantly under review at the local, state and federal levels. In this monthly roundup, Convenience Store News highlights the latest proposals and approved changes happening across the United States.


Phoenix — Two tobacco bills died because they missed a procedural deadline in mid-February. The statewide proposals would have required tobacco and e-cigarette retailers to obtain a license from the state Department of Health Services and would have allowed local jurisdictions to further regulate tobacco.


Indianapolis ­— Indiana state senators passed a cigarette tax evasion bill in late February defining that a person who unlawfully transports cigarettes with the state's tax stamp is a felon. The felony class depends on the number of cigarettes involved.


Concord — A New Hampshire House of Representatives bill that would have changed the tax methodology for cigarettes, little cigars, all other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes failed to pass. The proposed legislation would have annually set the tax rate for tobacco and nicotine products to be a maximum of the lowest rate charged for equivalent products in Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont, with a minimum of 8 percent below the lowest of such rates.


Annapolis — The Maryland Senate Finance Committee considered a bill prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products and electronic smoking devices, including menthol, mint and wintergreen. The hearing was held in mid-February.

SB 259 would apply to products granted marketing orders by the Food and Drug Administration or that have also received modified risk orders from the agency, according to a call for action from the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association.


Lincoln — A legislative bill to impose an excise tax on vapor products at a rate of 5 cents per milliliter of consumable material — defined as any liquid solution or other material that is depleted as an electronic nicotine delivery system is used — was heard by, and remains with, the Nebraska Legislature's Revenue Committee. LB584, introduced by Sen. Jana Hughes (R-Seward), would go into effect on July 1, 2023, if approved by state lawmakers.


Montpelier — A bill that would ban the retail sale of flavored cigarettes including menthol, other tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and e-liquids was heard in the state Senate Committee on Health and Welfare in late February.


Olympia — Two tobacco-related bills are dead in the state. A bill that would have increased monetary penalties for underage sales of tobacco and vapor products failed in the state House of Representatives Regulated Substances and Gaming Committee. Additionally, a bill in the state Senate that would have allowed the secretary of the Washington Department of Health to restrict or prohibit the sales of flavored tobacco products died because of a missed procedural deadline.