OPINIONTobacco

Legislative Watch: New York Bill Would Change Tax Rates for Tobacco Products

More updates from Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut and Hawaii
Cigarette pack
Photograph: Shutterstock

LAKEVILLE, Minn. —State tobacco-related legislative bills that have been introduced in the past week are listed below alphabetically by state:

  • New York: Assembly Bill 10016 (same as S1167-A) changes the minimum pack size and tax rates for tobacco products: loose tobacco (includes pipe tobacco, roll-your-own and any tobacco used for smoking) minimum pack of 0.65 ounce taxed at the higher of 95% of wholesale or the same as a pack of cigarettes ($4.35); cigars (other than little cigars) minimum five-pack taxed at the higher of 95% of wholesale or the same as a pack of cigarettes (with proportionate tax on packages with fewer than five cigars); single-unit tobacco taxed at the higher of 95% of wholesale or the same as a pack of cigarettes; moist snuff minimum pack of 1 ounce taxed at the higher of 95% of wholesale or $3.63 per ounce.

State tobacco-related legislative bills that have been acted on by a state legislative committee or state legislature are listed below alphabetically by state:

  • Alaska: Senate Bill 45, which as substituted, imposes a tax on electronic smoking products (including e-liquid) at the rate of 25% of the wholesale price, increases the legal age to purchase and possess tobacco and vapor products to 21 years of age, and prohibits the distribution of electronic smoking products that are not clearly recognizable as a tobacco product, was amended and moved out of the House Finance Committee on May 5. The bill is currently in the House Rules Committee awaiting scheduling on the House Floor. The current version of the bill reduced the proposed tax rate from 45% of the wholesale price.
  • Colorado: House Bill 1064, which prohibits the sale and distribution of all flavored cigarettes, tobacco products and nicotine products (includes flavored synthetic nicotine products), passed the House and moved to the Senate on May 4. The current version of the bill includes exemptions for hookah and premium cigars and allows the sale of flavored products in tobacco/cigar lounges that exist only in gaming establishments.
  • Connecticut: Senate Bill 367, which, as amended in committee, prohibits the sale of unflavored and flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)/vapor products (except in an “adult only retail store” defined as age 21 restricted) and increases penalties for tobacco-related sales violations, was not called for a vote (failed) before adjournment on May 4.
  • Hawaii: House Bill 1570, which, beginning Jan. 1, 2023, bans the sale of flavored tobacco products except those having received a marketing order from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), was reconsidered by the House May 3, reversing its earlier rejection of the Senate amendments and passing the bill on final reading; the bill was transmitted to the governor on May 4.

Thomas A. Briant is the executive director of NATO, a tobacco retailing association based in Lakeville, Minn. Reach him at info@natocentral.org

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