March Banning Report
Spring is finally here, but the sun is hardly shining in terms of potential and passed bans across our fair nation. This month’s list is quite extensive — it seems like it grows every month — so let’s get to it.
- Hawaii, where 20 state legislators are trying to ban online sales and raise the tobacco license cost, reported by The Cigar Authority. HB387 would “prohibit the shipment of tobacco products, and the transport of tobacco products ordered or purchased through a remote sale, to anyone other than a licensee. Makes all provisions of the cigarette tax and tobacco tax law that relate to tobacco products applicable to e-liquid. Increases the license fee for wholesalers or dealers and the retail tobacco permit fee. Amends the taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products. Increases the excise tax for each cigarette or little cigar sold, used, or possessed by a wholesaler or dealer. Increases the excise tax on the wholesale price of each article or item of tobacco products, other than large cigars, sold by the wholesaler or dealer.”
- Florida, where voters have passed a vaping ban in workplaces and restaurants. The amendment, according to WTXL, is at a Senate committee. Places where smoking is allowed would be exempt from the ban.
- Montrose, CO, where city councilors are looking at a vaping ordinance that would make vaping bans the same as smoking, according to WesternSlopeNow.com. Students caught with vaping apparatus at school would be disciplined and subject to a fine of up to $200.
- Longmont, CO, where smoking and vaping could be banned between First and Longs Peak Avenues on Main Street. Back alleys and behind building breezeways would be included, according to 9News.com.
- New Mexico, where a bill has been introduced that would treat e-cigarettes the same as analog cigarettes throughout the entire state. KRQE reports that the current Clean Indoor Air Act bans smoking in businesses open to the public. The bill is making its way through to the State Senate.
- Minnesota, where state lawmakers are asking that vaping be banned at bars, places of employment, restaurants, in public transportation, at public meetings and other indoor spaces that are owned by the state, city, county, township, universities and more. KNSI Radio reports that HF349 would be an amendment to the Minnesota Clean Indoor Act and has been passed by the House.
- Florida, where a ban on vaping in workplaces is “moving forward in the Senate without a proposal by anti-smoking advocates to redefine vaping devices as tobacco products,” reports WinkNews.com. The bill, SPB7012, would carry out the Amendment 9 ballot vote that passed in November banning vaping in workplaces. Vape shops, private residences, stand-alone bars, designated hotel rooms and airport smoking rooms would be exempt. Committee Chairman Wilton Simpson, (R-Trilby) told Wink News that, “His intention is to keep a ‘clean’ bill as it advances through the Senate and called the argument to add the tobacco definition to vaping ‘as a little bit of an overreach.’” He agrees with vaping advocates that vaping has “clearly” been a part of the health benefits of stopping smoking. Once passed, violators could receive a $25 fine or 50 hours of community service.