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05/27/2022

Tackling Tobacco: May 2022 Legislative & Regulatory Roundup

Hawaii legislature approves flavored vapor ban, with an exception.
Melissa Kress
Senior News Editor
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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.

ALASKA

Juneau — A Tobacco 21 bill, which will raise the state's minimum legal age to buy tobacco products to 21, is heading to Gov. Mike Dunleavy. If the governor signs the legislation into law, the changes will go into effect on July 1, 2023.

CALIFORNIA

San Diego — The San Diego City Council gave its final approval to an ordinance prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products, at its May 17 meeting. The ban, which includes menthol, goes into effective Jan. 1, 2023.

Scotts Valley — The Scotts Valley City Council introduced an ordinance to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products. The council members unanimously passed the first reading of the measure. In addition to a flavor ban, the ordinance includes a ban on smoking or vaping in outdoor dining spaces, requires tobacco retailers to be at least 21 years old, and prohibits all self-service tobacco displays.

The council will hold a second reading of the ordinance on June 1. If approved, the measure would go into effect 30 days later.

COLORADO

Denver — The Colorado Senate Appropriations Committee voted 5-2 to kill legislation that would have prohibited the sale of flavored tobacco products in the state. Gov. Jared Polis previously said he opposed the bill, which could have led to a veto if the measure was passed.

HAWAII

Honolulu — Legislation to ban flavored vapor products is on Gov. David Ige's desk. The measure, which carve out an exception for products that receive authorization to remain on the market from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), passed the state legislature on May 3. To date, the FDA has not authorized any premarket tobacco applications for flavored vapor products.

OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma City — State lawmakers changed the punishment for anyone under 21 who uses tobacco products. Currently, the statue calls for a $100 fine for underage tobacco users, who could lose their driver's license — or not get one — if they do not pay the fine. Under the new rule, which takes effect Nov. 1, underage tobacco users will instead be required complete an education or tobacco cessation program through the state Department of Health.