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Tackling Tobacco: April 2023 Legislative & Regulatory Roundup

A county in Minnesota reverses its plan for a potential ban on flavored tobacco, while New York tests the waters for all-out prohibition.
Legislation in the dictionary

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.


Juneau A state Senate bill imposing a tax on electronic cigarettes and vapor products at the rate of 25 percent of the sales price passed the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee in late April. The bill also caps the amount of nicotine in vapor products at 60 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter of vapor product.

The Alaska Senate Finance Committee will consider the bill in May.  


Sacramento — A bill enforcing the state flavor ban in the same manner as underage sales are enforced passed the California Assembly Governmental Operations Committee in late April.


Rochester — Olmsted County commissioners have reversed their plans for a potential ban on flavored tobacco, discussing in April that the outcome of such a ban could have negative racial and class implications.

The county will still make some changes to match state standards, including increasing fines for retailers found selling tobacco products to youth.


Carson City — A bill that increases penalties on retailers who sell to underage consumers passed the Nevada State Assembly in late April. 

This bill provides that, for violations which occur within a 24-month period at the same location, a licensee is liable for a civil penalty of $2,500 for a first violation, $5,000 for a second violation, $7,500 for a third violation and $10,000 for a fourth and any subsequent violation. The bill is now before the state Senate Committee on Revenue and Economic Development.


Albany — The state Health Department commissioned a new survey aimed at gauging support for an all-out tobacco prohibition. The survey was reportedly conducted by a nonprofit research organization and distributed to community leaders statewide, including county legislators and county directors of public health.

The survey came after the New York State Legislature rejected a proposal to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products.


Austin — The Texas House of Representatives is considering a bill that would ban cigarettes, e-cigarettes and smokable tobacco products on all college and university campuses in the state. A few witnesses testified in favor of the bill; no one testified against it. The bill was left pending in committee as of the end of April.

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