Published: February 10th, 2020 | CSNews
LAS VEGAS — Lawmakers across the country wasted no time introducing new tobacco-related legislation in 2020.
With only one month down in the year, 12 states are considering cigarette/tobacco tax bills. And it is just the beginning of the legislative season.
"It's still early, so this number will go up," said Thomas Briant, executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO). "Usually, 25 states a year have bills."
Presenting NATO's Industry Update at the recent Tobacco Plus Expo 2020, Briant also pointed out that 15 states have electronic cigarette/vapor tax bills on their agendas. In addition, Massachusetts adopted a similar tax in November.
While state excise tax bills have long been a staple of local and state legislative dockets, flavor-ban measures have been increasing in popularity over the past few months — and this trend shows no signs of slowing down.
As Briant noted, flavor-ban bills have taken two forms: those that ban all flavored tobacco, including menthol; and those that ban just flavored vapor products. Massachusetts became the first state to enact a total tobacco ban, including menthol, at the end of 2019.