California: Three bills missed a July 12, 2019 procedural deadline for 2019 and unless revived will not be passed this year and will carry over to 2020: Assembly Bill 1639 regulates tobacco products by requiring retailers to use software or an age verification device to determine the age of anyone who appears to be under the age of 27, increasing penalties on retailers who sell to those underage (including a 60-day suspension on a first violation), revives penalties on underage persons who purchase, use or possess tobacco products, prohibiting packaging or advertising of tobacco products directed at underage persons or containing indications of flavorings, or the retail sale of any such products; Senate Bill 424 prohibits the sale of cigarettes with single use filters and single-use e-cigarettes; and Senate Bill 538 requires e-cigarette manufacturers to provide the State Department of Public Health with a description and photograph of each type of e-cigarette product sold in the State, and allows the Department to charge an unspecified fee to cover the costs of the program.
Massachusetts: The following bills were heard in the Joint Committee on Public Health on July 16: House Bill 1902 and Senate Bill 1279—sales ban on flavored cigarettes, including menthol cigarettes and flavored tobacco products, including menthol, mint and wintergreen flavored products; House Bill 1900—confines the sale of tobacco products to adult-only retail tobacco stores or smoking bars, both of which are restricted to age 21; and House Bill 3482—imposes a new tax on vapor products at 40% of wholesale and limits the amount of nicotine in all tobacco products. House Bill 3484 would eventually ban the sale of all tobacco products
New York: Assembly Bill 558, which increases the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21, was signed by the Governor on July 16, 2019. This new law does not have an exemption for active military personnel and goes into effect on November 13, 2019. Retailers are required to post a sign in their stores on a white background with red letters at least one-half inch high that reads:
“SALE OF CIGARETTES, CIGARS, CHEWING TOBACCO, POWDERED TOBACCO, SHISHA OR OTHER TOBACO PRODUCTS, HERBAL CIGARETES, LIQUID NICOTINE, ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES, ROLLING PAPESR OR SMOKING PARAPHERNALIA, TO PERSONS UNDER TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE IS PROHIBITED BY LAW.”
Ohio: House Bill 166, which increases the legal purchase age for tobacco and vapor products to 21 years of age imposes a $.10 per milliliter tax on vapor products, was signed by the Governor on July 18, 2019. This new law does not have an exemption for active military personnel. According to the Ohio State Constitution, this new law will go into effect on the 91st day after the Governor signs the bill and delivers the new law to the Ohio Secretary of State. This means that the new age 21 law should go into effect on October 16, 2019. Retailers are required to post in a conspicuous place in their stores a sign with letters at least one-half inch high that reads:
“Giving, selling, or otherwise distributing cigarettes, other tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, or papers used to roll cigarettes to a person under twenty-one years of ae is prohibited by law.”