MACo Supports Local Flexibility, Resources for Public Health Tobacco Efforts

MACo Legislative Director Natasha Mehu submitted testimony on February 18, 2020 to support HB 732 – Electronic Smoking Devices, Other Tobacco Products, and Cigarettes – Taxation and Regulation. This bill provides resources and tools to support local public health efforts to address tobacco use and related deaths, disease, and disparities.

From MACo Testimony:

HB 732 increases the tobacco tax rate on cigarettes and other tobacco products and imposes a tax on electronic smoking devices. It also removes the prohibition from local governments imposing a tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products — enabling counties to access an additional tool for use in their own anti-tobacco strategies. These tax changes would generate revenues that can be used to advance state and local public health efforts and other priorities.

Additionally, the bill requires the Governor to increase annual funding for the Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Program. Tobacco use is not only the number one cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S., it leads to thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of cases of tobacco-related diseases in Maryland alone.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2020 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.