Senate Amends Digitial Ad Tax onto E-Cig Tax and Regulations Bill

smoke-298243_1920A bill imposing taxes and regulations on electronic smoking devices and other tobacco products has been amended in the Senate to include provisions of a bill imposing

HB 732 – Electronic Smoking Devices, Other Tobacco Products, and Cigarettes – Taxation and Regulation passed third reader in the Senate.

As introduced the bill increased the tobacco tax rate on cigarettes and other tobacco products and imposed a tax on electronic smoking devices. It also removed 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. And required the Governor to increase annual funding for the Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Program.

MACo supported the bill as it provided resources and tools to support local public health efforts to address tobacco use and related deaths, disease, and disparities.

As amended, the bill still increases the tobacco tax rate on cigarettes and other tobacco products and imposes a tax on electronic smoking devices. However, it retains the prohibition on local governments from imposing a tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products with a notable exception. Any county that imposed a tax on electronic as of January 1, 2020 may continue to impose that tax at the same rate. This amendment grandfathers Montgomery County who imposed such as tax last year. Additionally, the bill now includes a tax on digital advertising. Funds from new electronic smoking device and digital advertising taxes are to be used to support education under the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future fund.

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

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