Legislation Week In Review Vol. 3

Each week we list all the legislation in one easy to find place. This week brings stories from Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and New Mexico.

Adams, MA – The Board of Health last week agreed to update all the town’s tobacco regulations during the process of increasing the legal age of buying tobacco from 18 to 21. The new measure doesn’t come as a new regulation; but rather an amendment to existing regulations.

Olathe, KA – Olathe city leaders have voted to raise the age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21.People who violate the new rules would get a $25 fine and could be ordered by a judge to attend a tobacco education course.

Anniston, AL – A little over a month ago an exemption for cigar bars was passed, but this week saw a proposal that could change that. Councilmember Seyram Selase requested the exemption be removed in order to be consistent with the smoking ordinance.

New Jersey – The state is at it again despite a pocket veto from Gov Chris Christie to stop a bill that would have resulted in the smoking age going up to 21. Three democrats are wasting tax payer money by trying to pass this yet again. In addition to trying to raise the tobacco age Democrats are also looking for a statewide ban on beach and park smoking which was veto’d by the Governor once before.

Michigan – In 2012 the state enacted a 50 cent cap on cigars which had been in excess of 30% prior to the cap. Republican State Senator Wayne Schmidt has proposed a change in eliminating the cap. The measure passed the senate unanimously and currently sits with the House Appropriations Committee.

Maryland – A group of Democrat legislative members have proposed reducing the current tax on premium cigars from 15% to just 7.5%. If the measure is passed it would go into effect on July 1 and remain until at least 2021. The bill is set for a hearing on February 10.

Kentucky – Three Democrats have proposed HB 299; which seeks to raise the tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21. The bill which is in its early stages will go before the House Health & Welfare Committee.

New Mexico – A few weeks ago we reported on a bill seeking to raise tobacco taxes to 66%. Now Senate Bill 178 has been posted that would lower the taxes on “fine cigars” from 25% to 5 cents per cigar, or 3 cents per cigar if packaged in a box containing more than one cigar. The bill is sponsored by Republican Cliff R. Pirtle (Roswell).


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