For the past year the media and lawmakers have been having a field day with their attack on electronic cigarettes. From e-cigarette safety, to the impact on kids… there’s a lot of concern about e-cigs whether it’s warranted or not. It seems like every other week there’s another city voting on public bans and new statewide proposals are constantly being discussed. To be honest, we’ve been having a hard time keeping up with all the legal and regulatory action! To get everyone up to speed, here’s an update on e-cigarette legislation by state.
Proposed E-Cigarette Taxes
It’s a frustrating proposition for vapers, but many lawmakers are trying to lump e-cigarettes in with traditional tobacco products, or they’re creating a completely separate subclass of products that can be taxed independently. Here is a list of states trying to impose new e-cigarette taxes:
- Indiana: House Bill 1174 would include electronic cigarettes under the definition of tobacco products and apply the state’s 24% tax on tobacco to e-cigs.
- Kentucky: Governor Steve Beshear is proposing to tax e-cigarettes at a 20% OTP rate, and several bills are proposing similar rates. House Bill 220 redefines alternative tobacco products to be other tobacco products and imposes a 15% tax on these products. House Bill 319 defines electronic cigarettes as a tobacco product and imposes a 15% OTP tax.
- New Jersey: Governor Chris Christie proposed a new budget this week that would tax e-cigs at the same rate as traditional cigarettes. Currently, the cigarette tax in NJ 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 electronic cigarettes at 81.25%.
- Rhode Island: Governor Lincoln Chaffee introduced a budget that includes e-cigs within the state’s current definition of “tobacco products” which means they would be subject to Rhode Island’s 80% tax on tobacco. House Bill 7133 incorporates the Governor’s proposed tax on e-cigarettes.
- Tennessee: Big win if it passes! House Bill 1461 defines vapor products and clarifies that policies applicable to tobacco are not applicable to these devices.
- Washington: Senate Bill 6569 would tax e-cigs like tobacco products at a 95% OTP rate.
Bills Banning E-Cig Sales to Minors
Now here are some regulations we can stand behind! It’s safe to say that everyone in the vaping community supports banning electronic cigarette sales to minors. Here is a list of states with proposed (and approved) regulations regarding the sale of e-cigarettes to minors:
- APPROVED: These states have already approved banning sales to minors – AL, AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, IL, IN, KS, MA, MD, MN, MS, NE, NH, NJ, NY, SC, TN, UT, WA, WI, WY
- Connecticut: Senate Bill 24 would prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.
- Delaware: House Bill 241 defines tobacco substitute to include electronic cigarettes and prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.
- Georgia: House Bill 251 defines alternative nicotine products and prohibits the sale of nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, to minors. Senate Bill 347 prohibits the sale of e- cigs 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 their sale to anyone under 18.
- Louisiana: Senate Bill 12 adds “alternative nicotine product” to present law which would prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to individuals under the age of 18.
- New Mexico: House Bill 15 would prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.
- New York: Prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under 18.
- Oklahoma: Senate Bill 1835, House Bill 2904 and House Bill 3451 would prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes and other vapor products to minors.
- South Dakota: Senate Bill 181 would prohibit the sale of tobacco, alternative nicotine products and vapor devices to to anyone under the age of 18.
- Vermont: Very scary! House Bill 632 would ban the sale or possession of electronic cigarettes by anyone of any age – including adults!
- Virginia: Senate Bill 96 includes vapor and alternative nicotine products in the definition of tobacco, prohibits the possession by and outlaws the sale to minors.
- West Virginia: House Bill 4237 would prohibit the sale of e-cigs to minors.
As vapers, we should stand behind any proposals that limit sales to minors, but most of us can agree that treating them like tobacco products is just plain ridiculous! They contain NO TOBACCO and none of the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. Almost all of the studies, thus far, have suggested that there’s very little risk to electronic cigarette users – and no risk to bystanders. To stay up-to-date with the latest legal and regulatory news, or to TAKE ACTION, visit CASAA.org.