This measure provides that tobacco products, defined in the bill, would be subject to tax at rates of $1.80 per pack of cigarettes or 39 percent of the wholesale price for all other tobacco products.
Specifically, current imposes taxes of $0.30 per pack of cigarettes, 10 percent of the wholesale price of certain tobacco products, and various weight-based rates that apply to moist snuff and loose leaf tobacco. The bill broadens the definition of “tobacco product” to include electronic smoking devices, which are not taxed under current law. The bill authorizes all localities to tax all tobacco products with no restriction on the tax rate. Under current law, cities may tax only cigarettes, and the Counties of Arlington and Fairfax may tax cigarettes at a rate no higher than the state rate. The bill dedicates portions of revenue accruing as a result of the tax increases and new taxes established by the bill to the Department of Health for its costs related to Quit Now Virginia for the purpose of providing free information and coaching to residents who want to quit smoking or using tobacco; to the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth to fund initiatives to prevent or reduce youth tobacco use; the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to fund initiatives to educate merchants on the laws governing the sale of tobacco products; and to the general fund.