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.
Tallahassee — Tobacco 21 legislation is once again heading to the desk of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. On April 26, the Florida Senate approved a Tobacco 21 proposal to raise the state's legal minimum age to buy tobacco products. The proposal would raise the state's legal age to 21 and preempt local lawmakers from passing protections stricter than state law. The state House of Representatives followed suit with its own 103-13 vote on April 28.
DeSantis vetoed a Tobacco 21 bill in September.
Vero Beach — The Indian River County Commissioners adopted legislation to raise the legal minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21.
Boise — The state House of Representatives rejected a Tobacco 21 bill. The measure, which failed by a 40-28 vote, would have brought Idaho's legal minimum age to buy tobacco products in line with the federal regulations. The proposed legislation would have also prevented local governments from imposing more stringent regulations or taxes on the sale of tobacco products than what the state imposes.
Bloomington — The Bloomington City Council approved a measure to end the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol. The ban, which the council approved by a 4-2 vote, goes into effect on Jan. 1.
The measure also brings an end to new tobacco retail licenses in the city. Beginning June 30, a tobacco license will be eliminated when a store closes. Stores with existing licenses will be able to renew them as long as the same person or that person's spouse or child is renewing the license.
Salem — On April 10, the Oregon House advanced legislation to close loopholes that allow underage consumers to purchase electronic cigarettes and vapor products online. House Bill 2261 would ban the sale of vaping products and require a face-to-face purchase of the products. House Bill 2261, which passed 44 to four, now goes to the Oregon Senate for consideration.
Columbia — The South Carolina House of Representatives approved a bill that would ban municipalities from creating their own tobacco regulations. It would also prohibit local governments from requiring local licenses to sell tobacco products. After the 80-23 vote, the bill was sent to the state Senate.
Rocky Mount — The Franklin County Board of Supervisors rejected call for a 15-cent tax on tobacco products as part of its 2021-2022 fiscal year budget. If the tax was approved, it was estimated the county would bring in $75,000 of additional revenue in the first year.