obacco. It is a controversial topic - many people want it banned from their communities. However, those that defend it argue it is a right, and some do not go down quietly.
Nevertheless, it's a $76 billion industry in the United States alone. But this does not mean that there is no more tobacco legislation coming.
What's the latest information on new and pending legislation? This is your guide.
Before we dive further into specific legislation, we should go over what areas are considered smoke-free. By definition, this means that there is at least a fight to control what smoke goes on indoors and near outside areas, including: work vehicles; restaurants; bars; offices of all types; business properties.
In other words, these states are fighting to ban smoking inside and even on certain private business properties outdoors.
There are about 28 states that ban smoking outright indoors. That means that no matter where you are in those states, you can't smoke in places such as bars and restaurants.
After that, there are nine more states that at least have strong laws enacted in certain parts of the state. Thirteen other states have no restrictions at all.
The majority of the states with no legislation tend to be in the southern half of the country. Below, you will mostly see updated legislation from northern states in the country.
These are the states that already have laws described above tend to be the ones that are trying to put further restrictions on tobacco products. Let's take a look at some examples.
At the time of this writing, there are five states in the country that have a state law banning the sale of flavored tobacco products outright in their states. Massachusetts was the first to do this, and California joined them in November 2022. Other states that banned this outright include New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
A flavored tobacco product is any tobacco product that has a distinguishable taste or smell other than the taste or smell of tobacco. These flavors, or unique tastes and smells, include but are not limited to: menthol, mint, wintergreen, fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverages, herb or spice.
This means that no matter what establishment you go to in those states, you can't legally buy flavored tobacco products. Other states are working towards this as well, but there is not as much legislation in those areas yet.
So, you have two states that have banned flavored tobacco products outright. While the rest of the country is not there yet, smaller areas in certain states are trying to change the local laws get some of these products banned.
Here is some of the latest news from the localities in these states.
We start in Ohio, where the state capitol made a big move to ban flavored tobacco products in its city limits. Columbus, OH already had a ban on this back in 2020. This included things such as e-cigarettes, vape products with tobacco, and more.
However, the twist in Columbus is that now, not only does Columbus want to include menthol products in that ban, but Columbus wants to get their neighboring cities to join them in doing this. If the ban works, it will go into effect in 2024.
This state has a smaller area in Dalton that is looking to update its tobacco regulations. The area seems to be focusing on enforcing a smoking ban within 500 feet of schools.
On top of this, the city wants to ban flavored rolling papers from being sold at retail stores. There are two other things that the city wants to update.
The first is the minimum price of a cigar. Currently, the minimum is $2.90 for a single cigar and $5.60 for two cigars. If the city gets its way, there is likely to be an increase in this.
There is also likely to be an increase in the business suspension for selling tobacco to a minor if these updates pass. Currently, the suspension is just one day.
Believe it or not, it is not Las Vegas getting the attention on the legislation here. No, that honor goes to the state's capitol, Carson City.
What does this city have in store for businesses and citizens there? Like Dalton, they want to increase the penalties for selling tobacco to a minor.
Right now, a business does not get a 30-day suspension until the fourth violation. If this legislation passes, that would happen in the second violation. The suspension would increase by 150 days on the third violation.
Finally, we have Portland. At the time of discussion, it was arguably the least serious discussion of any state mentioned so far.
Why is that? Portland's county, Multnomah, is just starting discussions on possible bans with residents and businesses of that community.
So, what are they trying to do? They are trying to propose a ban on not just flavored tobacco but all flavored nicotine products in general.
Well, they voted on this in December 2022, and it unanimously passed. This means that starting in 2024, no more flavored tobacco or nicotine products will be available in this county.
If you are someone that likes to smoke tobacco, then you need to keep up with the latest tobacco legislation. As described above, the states most likely to do this are the 28 states that already have smoke-free indoor laws in place. Five of these states have banned flavored tobacco products outright. Then, you can see local areas in four other states below have significant discussions and/or significant votes on the matter.
Do you want to know what stores this may impact in Colorado? Message us today or read our Insights to keep up with the latest news.