Governor's Proposed FY2021 State Budget Includes Targeted Tobacco and E-Cigarette Legislation

  • 02 Mar 2020

Governor Raimondo released the FY2021 Proposed Budget last month, which includes proposals on page 594 related to Article 21 on tobacco and e-cigarettes. The House Committee on Finance held a hearing on Article 21 earlier this month. CTC-RI will keep you posted as the General Assembly session unfolds and the amended state budget is released. As it currently stands, this legislation would:

  • Ban flavored electronic nicotine-delivery systems (ENDS).
  • Ban ENDS with nicotine content greater than 30mg/ml.
  • Raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 years to 21 years old.
  • Merge the cigarette and tobacco dealer registration process with the ENDS retailer registration process within the Division of Taxation to streamline processes for businesses and increases efficiency and compliance.
  • Authorize the RI Department of Health to require testing and labelling requirements for ENDS.
  • Authorize the Department of Health to restrict ingredients and flavorings in ENDS.
  • Increase penalties for selling tobacco products to underage youth, selling contraband products and selling ENDS without a license.
  • Require additional warnings at point of sale for ENDS products.
  • Require age verification for sale of ENDS products through the mail or internet.  
  • Authorize cities/towns to further restrict the sale of tobacco and ENDS products at the local level.
  • Ban the redemption of coupons used to make tobacco and ENDS products less expensive.
  • Increase the cigarette excise tax by $0.35 per pack (from $4.25 to $4.60) through a flat fee on cigarette distributors.
  • Apply the 80% Other Tobacco Products (OTP) wholesale tax rate to liquid nicotine products.
  • Raise the cap on cigars from $0.50 to $0.80 per cigar.