Tackling Tobacco: November 2020 Legislative & Regulatory Roundup

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.


Anchorage — Lawmakers in Anchorage adopted an ordinance to include electronic cigarettes and vapor products in the city’s existing tobacco tax. Tobacco vaping devices and e-cigarettes, as well as the liquids and cartridges, will be taxed at 55 percent of the wholesale price.


San Diego County — The Board of Supervisors today approved changes to a proposed tobacco retail license ordinance, setting the measure up for a second reading in December. If approved, the ordinance will set a minimum pack size and a minimum price for sales; allow the county to enforce minimum age laws and a previously adopted ban on flavored tobacco products; and prohibit the sale of tobacco products at pharmacies.


Loveland — The Loveland City Council voted in favor of an ordinance banning the sale of flavored tobacco products. If approved on second reading, the ban would go into effect on Jan. 1. The ordinance’s second reading is slated for Dec. 1.


Missoula — The Missoula City Council adopted a measure prohibiting the sale of flavored vapor products. The new law goes into effect on Jan. 25, 2021 and applies to tobacco sales within the city limits as well as within a five-mile radius. The ordinance also bans the use of self-service displays.


New Hanover County — The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Nov. 16 in favor of ban on the use of combustible tobacco and electronic cigarettes in New Hanover County. The ordinance will go into effect Feb. 1, 2021. The ordinance approves and ordains the Smoke and Vaping Rule adopted by the New Hanover County Health and Human Services Board on Oct. 16, and includes the prohibition of tobacco and e-cigarettes in county, town and city buildings, vehicles and grounds, as well as in public places in the county like restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.


Salem — State voters approved a ballot measure that places a tax on electronic cigarettes and nicotine vapor products as well as increases the state excise tax on cigarettes. Measure 108 raises the cigarette levy by $2 per pack to $3.33 and imposes a 65-percent tax on e-cigarettes. It also increases cap on cigar taxes to $1 per cigar. The state expects to see about $130 million in new annual revenue from the measure.