ARCHIVED RHODE ISLAND TOBACCO LEGISLATION

2015 Tobacco Legislation

Cigarette Tax

Reduce Cigarette Tax

Senate Bill No. 209
BY  Raptakis
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION - CIGARETTE TAX-MINIMUM PRICE OF CIGARETTES (Reduces the cigarette tax by fifty cents ($0.50) per pack and requires a fifteen percent (15%) minimum markup be added to the total cost of cigarettes sold by retailers.)
{LC806/1}
02/11/2015 Introduced, referred to Senate Finance

American Lung Association in RI opposes
March of Dimes opposes

House Bill No. 5327
BY  Phillips, Morin, Casey, Edwards, Hull
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION - CIGARETTE TAX-MINIMUM PRICE OF CIGARETTES (This act would reduce the cigarette tax by fifty (50) cents per pack and require a fifteen percent (15%) minimum markup be added to the total cost of cigarettes sold by retailers.)
{LC39/1}
02/05/2015 Introduced, referred to House Finance

American Lung Association in RI opposes
March of Dimes opposes
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network opposes
American Heart Association opposes

Read Testimony

Raise Cigarette Tax & Fund Tobacco Control Program

House Bill No. 5732
BY  Handy, Ackerman, Naughton, Maldonado, Ajello
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY - TOBACCO CONTROL PROGRAM (Increases the tax imposed on cigarettes and set rates for stamps from 175 mills to 225 mills.)
{LC1199/1}
02/26/2015 Introduced, referred to House Finance

American Lung Association in RI supports
March of Dimes supports
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network supports
American Heart Association supports

Read Testimony

Senate Bill No. 375
BY  Pichardo, Metts
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY - TOBACCO CONTROL PROGRAM (Establishes tobacco control program and raises taxes imposed on cigarettes.)
{LC1394/1}
02/25/2015 Introduced, referred to Senate Finance

American Lung Association in RI supports
March of Dimes supports
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network supports
American Heart Association supports

Read Testimony

FACT SHEET: NEW REVENUES, PUBLIC HEALTH BENEFITS & COST SAVINGS FROM A $1.00 CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE IN RHODE ISLAND
READ FACT SHEET

Raise the Price of Little Cigars

Senate Bill No. 464
BY  Miller, Ruggerio
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION -- CIGARETTE TAX (Amends the definition of cigarettes to include any tobacco rolled in tobacco leaf that is the size of a cigarette.)
{LC1341/1}
02/26/2015 Introduced, referred to Senate Finance

American Lung Association in RI supports

Senate Bill No. 414
BY  Pichardo, Goldin, Metts, Goodwin, Ottiano
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION - CIGARETTE TAX (Expands the definition of cigarettes for tax purposes to cover any roll of tobacco including “little cigars” and snuff products.)
{LC1760/1}
02/25/2015 Introduced, referred to Senate Finance

American Lung Association in RI supports


E-Cigarette Legislation

E-Cigarette Health Warning Signs

Senate Bill No. 482
BY  Ruggerio, Miller, Goodwin, DaPonte, Pichardo
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES -- CHILDREN (Requires that warning signs about the adverse effects of cigarettes be amended to include a warning about electronic cigarettes and would include information about how to cease using electronic nicotine-delivery systems.)
{LC1338/1}
02/26/2015 Introduced, referred to Senate Health and Human Services

American Lung Association in RI working with sponsor on amendment language

E-Cigarette Retail Licensing

Senate Bill No. 720
BY  Miller
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (Prohibits the sale of electronic nicotine-delivery systems without having a license to sell cigarettes and/or tobacco products.)
{LC1336/1}
03/18/2015 Introduced, referred to Senate Judiciary

E-Cigarette Tax

Senate Bill No. 463
BY  Miller
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION - SALES AND USE TAXES - LIABILITY AND COMPUTATION (Adds electronic, nicotine-delivery systems to the definition of "tobacco" for tax purposes.)
{LC1337/1}
02/26/2015 Introduced, referred to Senate Finance

05/01/2015 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (05/05/2015)
05/05/2015 Committee recommended measure be held for further study

American Lung Association in RI supports

Restrict E-Cigarette Use

House Bill No. 5690
BY  Tanzi
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (This act would prohibit the indoor use of electronic nicotine-delivery systems.)
{LC1420/1}
02/26/2015 Introduced, referred to House H.E.W.

American Lung Association in RI supports

Senate Bill No. 489
BY  Miller, Goldin, Sosnowski, Nesselbush, Ruggerio
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- PUBLIC HEALTH AND WORKPLACE SAFETY ACT (Prohibits the use of electronic nicotine delivery system products in public places and places of employment.)
{LC1335/1}
02/26/2015 Introduced, referred to Senate Health and Human Services

American Lung Association in RI supports
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids supports
RI Medical Society supports
RI Academy of Family Physicians supports
American Nurses Association RI supports
Thundermist Health Centers support

Read Testimony


E-Liquid

Senate Bill No. 714  SUB A
(Attorney General)
BY  Ruggerio, McCaffrey, Lombardi, Goodwin, Jabour
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES -- CHILDREN (Prohibits the sale of liquid used by humans in electronic delivery systems unless packaged in child resistant packaging.)
{LC1015/A/1}

House Bill No. 5493
(Attorney General)
BY  Melo, Johnston, Winfield, Ucci, Hull
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES -- CHILDREN (Prohibits the sale of liquid used by humans in electronic delivery systems unless packaged in child-resistant packaging.)
{LC1013/1}
02/12/2015 Introduced, referred to House H.E.W.

American Lung Association in RI supports
March of Dimes supports


Smoking Bars, including Hookah Bars

​​Senate Bill No. 303  as amended
BY  Goldin, Conley, Miller, Sosnowski
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- PUBLIC HEALTH AND WORKPLACE SAFETY ACT (Requires smoking bar owners to demonstrate on a quarterly rather than annual basis that revenues generated from tobacco products exceeds revenue generated from food and beverage sales.)
{LC1261/1}

American Lung Association in RI supports
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids supports
Read Testimony

House Bill No. 5689
BY  Tanzi, Ajello, Carnevale, DeSimone, Fogarty
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- PUBLIC HEALTH AND WORKPLACE SAFETY ACT (Requires smoking bar owners to register with division of taxation.)
{LC1406/1}

    02/26/2015 Introduced, referred to House H.E.W.​
    03/23/2015 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (03/25/2015)
    03/25/2015 Committee recommended measure be held for further study

    ​​Context:
    Under current law "Smoking bar" means an establishment whose business is primarily devoted to the serving of tobacco products for consumption on the premises, in which the annual revenues generated by tobacco sales are greater than fifty percent (50%) of the total revenue for the establishment and the serving of food or alcohol is only incidental to the consumption of such tobacco products. The establishment must annually demonstrate that revenue generated from the serving of tobacco products is greater than the total combined revenue generated by the serving of beverages and food.

    Under this legislation, smoking/hookah bars owners would be required to register with Division of Taxation before they begin operation. The new registration requirement establishes quarterly reporting so eligibility and compliance would be monitored several times a year instead of one time. The identical bill was introduced in 2014, and was supported by RI Division of Taxation.

American Lung Association in RI supports


Pharmacies

House Bill No. 5701
BY  Kazarian, Tanzi, Ackerman, Regunberg, Maldonado
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO BUSINESSES AND PROFESSIONS - PHARMACIES (This act would prohibit the sale of tobacco at any retail establishment which has a pharmacy in the location.)
{LC389/1}
02/26/2015 Introduced, referred to House Corporations

American Lung Association in RI supports


Smoke-Free Beaches

Senate Bill 124 — (beaches) Public Beach Smoking Pollution Control Act
This bill prohibits smoking on public beaches.
AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- PUBLIC BEACH SMOKING POLLUTION CONTROL ACT
Introduced By: Senators Lynch, Gallo, Doyle, Sosnowski, and Miller
Date Introduced: January 22, 2015
Referred To: Senate Judiciary

American Lung Association in RI supports

House Bill No. 5627
BY  Carson, McNamara, Coughlin, Bennett, Solomon
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- PUBLIC BEACH SMOKING POLLUTION CONTROL ACT (Prohibits smoking on public beaches in the state of Rhode Island.)
{LC1512/1}
02/25/2015 Introduced, referred to House Judiciary

American Lung Association in RI supports
March 11, 2015 Testimony


No Smoking in Cars with Kids

Senate Bill No. 254
BY  Sosnowski, Lynch, Crowley, Miller, Goldin
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES -- MISCELLANEOUS RULES (Authorizes police officers to provide a verbal warning to a person who is smoking in a vehicle containing a child who is restrained or required to be restrained.)
{LC656/1}
02/11/2015 Introduced, referred to Senate Judiciary

American Lung Association in RI supports
March of Dimes supports

House Bill No. 6299
BY  Slater, Trillo, Diaz
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES -- MISCELLANEOUS RULES (Authorizes police officers to provide a verbal warning to a person who is smoking in a vehicle containing a child who is restrained or required to be restrained.)
{LC2827/1}

    06/09/2015 Introduced, referred to House Judiciary


Smoke-Free Casinos

Senate Bill No. 287
BY  Sosnowski, Miller, Crowley, Nesselbush, Goldin
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY - PUBLIC HEALTH AND WORKPLACE SAFETY ACT (Repeals the Rhode Island parimutuel facilities exemption to the public health and workplace safety act thereby banning smoking at Twin River Casino and Newport Grand.)
{LC634/1}
02/11/2015 Introduced, referred to Senate Special Legislation and Veterans Affairs

American Lung Association in RI supports


Smoke-Free Public Housing

House Bill 5256
Entitled: AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY - PUBLIC HEALTH AND WORKPLACE SAFETY ACT
Sponsors: Representatives Phillips, Morin, Casey, Serpa, and Reilly
Introduced: January 29, 2015
Referred to: Referred to House Municipal Government  
Description of the Bill: As introduced, H 5256 would amend RIGL Chapter 23-20 to prohibit smoking in residential facilities that include one or more residential or apartment unit that is owned, operated, managed, financed, or otherwise under the control of RI city or town housing authorities.

    02/06/2015 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (02/12/2015)
    02/12/2015 Committee recommended measure be held for further study

    Context:  This legislation would expand from 22 to 25 the number of RI Public Housing Authorities that would be required to have a no-smoking policy and would, for the first time, specifically include “residential facilities” under the control of RI cities and towns.

    This legislation strikes, and then redefines “Business”. Without the benefit of legislative counsel, it’s unclear whether this new definition would weaken overall aspects of the Public Health and Workplace Safety Act. In regard to housing, it seems to create an exemption for indoor smoking when the “employee” is not in a “personal residence or unit, or apartment” that is also considered a business facility during non-working hours. This legislation is new.


Raise Age of Purchase to 21

House Bill 5225
Entitled: AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES - CHILDREN
Sponsors: Representatives Tanzi, Ackerman, Handy, Lombardi, and Maldonado
Introduced: January 29, 2015
Referred to: Referred to House Health, Education, and Welfare Committee 
Description of the Bill: As introduced, H 5225 would amend Chapter 11-9 to increase the legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21.

    03/20/2015 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (03/25/2015)
    03/25/2015 Committee recommended measure be held for further study

    Context:
    All states have laws prohibiting retailers from selling tobacco products to minors. In most states, the minimum legal sale age (MLSA) for tobacco products is 18, but a few states have raised it to 19 (Alaska, Utah, Alabama). As of January 1, 2015, 49 cities in 7 states have raised the tobacco minimum sales age to 21 (44 municipalities are in MA).

    Actively enforced age 21 laws will reduce youth access to tobacco products, and will likely delay smoking initiation.  According to CDC, nearly 9 out of 10 smokers started smoking by age 18, and 99% started by age 26. As such, reducing youth access to these deadly products will lower smoking prevalence rates and health care costs. There will be some fiscal effect on tobacco related revenues. The identical bill was introduced in 2014.

American Lung Association in RI supports
Read Testimony


Miscellaneous

House Bill No. 5559
BY  Gallison
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO COMMERCIAL LAW-GENERAL REGULATORY PROVISIONS - UNFAIR SALES PRACTICES (Repeals the definition of "cost to the wholesaler" within the unfair sales practices act. Provides for the establishment of a tobacco control program to prevent and reduce tobacco use.)
{LC1356/1}

    02/25/2015 Introduced, referred to House Finance

Senate Bill No. 469
(by request)
BY  Pichardo, Metts
ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO COMMERCIAL LAW--GENERAL REGULATORY PROVISIONS -- UNFAIR SALES PRACTICES--CIGARETTE TAX (Repeals unfair uniform sales practices law as to transactions between wholesalers and retailers.)
{LC1412/1}

    02/26/2015 Introduced, referred to Senate Finance

Senate Resolution No. 605
Resolution 103
BY  Ruggerio, Goodwin, Metts, Ottiano, Paiva Weed
ENTITLED, SENATE RESOLUTION PROCLAIMING MARCH 5, 2015, TO BE "SMOKE FREE 10 DAY" IN THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND
{LC2023/1}

    03/05/2015 Recommended for Immediate Consideration
    03/05/2015 Senate read and passed

Requested by American Lung Association in RI

 

2014 Legislative Priorities

Tobacco Free RI's top 3 state legislative priorities for 2014:

  1. Increase state funding for the Rhode Island Department of Health's Tobacco Control Program from its current annual budget
    of $388,000 to $3.1 million.
    Read letter from Tobacco Free RI to the Senate Finance Committee, March 11, 2014.
    Charts: RI Tobacco Tax Revenues and Tobacco Prevention Spending 2000-2014
    Factsheet: RI Smokers' Helpline FY2013 Update
    Infographic: The RI Smokers' Helpline and Quitworks Program FY2013
     
  2. Raise the state excise tax on a pack of cigarettes by $1, to $4.50 tax per pack of 20.
     
  3. Prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and regulate electronic cigarettes as a tobacco product.


SUPPORT:


OPPOSE


MONITORING / CONSIDERING

  • S3095
    BY  Ruggerio, Goodwin, Pearson, Ottiano, Lynch
    ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES - ELECTRONIC NICOTINE DELIVERY SYSTEMS (This act would prohibit the sale of electronic nicotine delivery systems to persons under eighteen (18) and would require a business selling, dealing or distributing an electronic nicotine delivery system to obtain a license from the department of health.) {LC5910/1}
    06/11/2014 Introduced, referred to Senate Judiciary
     
  • H7941 (would prohibit a recipient of direct cash assistance on electronic benefit cards from utilizing that benefit card to purchase alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets or tobacco products, and would establish penalties for violations by recipients.)
     
  • H7775 (would prohibit the sale of tobacco at any retail establishment which has a pharmacy in the location)
    Supported by the American Lung Association
    Supported by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

     
  • H7166 (would prohibit the granting of a license under chapter 44-20, the “Cigarette Tax,” to an applicant that is a health care facility or that maintains a health care facility license)
     
  • H7759 (would increase the minimum age to buy and sell tobacco products from eighteen (18) years to twenty-one (21) years)
    Statement in Support: Testimony is support from the American Lung Association
    Supported by the American Lung Association
     
  • S2333 and H7573 (would require that smoking bar owners - including hookah bars - register with the Division of Taxation and report quarterly that their sales of tobacco exceed 51% of total combined revenue)
    Letter of Support: To The Honorable Joseph McNamara, Chair , House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare, March 26, 2014
    Supported by the American Lung Association
    Supported by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

     
  • S2084 and H7999 (would authorize all law enforcement officers in the state to provide a verbal warning to any person who is smoking in a motor vehicle where there is a child who is under the age of 7)
    Supported by the American Lung Association
     
  • H7426 (would require a 15% minimum mark-up to be added to the total cost of cigarettes sold by retailers)

 

2013 Legislative Priorities

OPPOSE:

SUPPORT:

 

Tobacco Free Rhode Island

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