An estimated 21 percent of Hoosiers smoke – one of the highest smoking rates in the country.
But of the nine bills related to smoking, cigarettes, and e-liquids introduced at the Statehouse this session, only two are moving forward.
A bill to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21 passed out of one Senate committee, but died in a second Senate committee without another hearing.
Advocates have long lobbied to raise the tax rate on cigarettes, which hasn’t been increased since 2007. A recent poll showed 70 percent of Hoosiers support an increased tax, and more than three-fourths say it’s important revenue be spent on tobacco prevention.
Indiana lags in smoking and prevention and cessation funding – it spends 10 percent of the CDC’s recommended amount.
But two proposals to increase the tax died this session. One would have raised the tax by $1, and another would have raised it by $2.
Here are all the bills introduced this session, including the ones that died.
Bills that didn’t clear either chamber could still be amended into surviving legislation.
Bills still moving ahead
HB 1444 – Taxation of electronic cigarettes
Imposes a tax on electronic cigarettes that contain nicotine at a rate of $0.04 per fluid millileter of consumable material. Deposits the revenue from the tax in the state general fund.
The bill passed unanimously out of the House Committee on Ways and Means. It passed the full House with a 53-40 vote and was referred to the Senate.
It has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
SB 271 – E-liquid container labeling
Would eliminate a state requirement that an e-liquid manufacturer or a closed system vaping product manufacturer include certain information on an e-liquid container. Removes a duplicative provision that requires the label of an e-liquid container to indicate if the product contains nicotine.
The bill passed unanimously out of the Senate Committee on Public Policy. It passed the full Senate with a 49-0 vote and was referred to the House.
Read more at https://indianapublicmedia.org