This measure makes changes to the definitions of “tobacco product” and “cigarette” and changes their taxation rates, defines “electronic smoking device”, imposes taxes on “electronic smoking devices”, and allows localities to tax cigarettes.
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. Current law 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.Specifically, this measure defines “cigarette” as:1.) any roll for smoking containing tobacco wrapped in paper or in any substance other than tobacco leaf;2.) any roll for smoking containing tobacco, wrapped in any substance, weighing four and a half pounds or less per thousand rolls, except those rolls wrapped entirely in tobacco leaf that do not have a filter; and (iii) any roll for smoking containing tobacco wrapped in any substance, however labeled or named, which because of its appearance, its size, the type of tobacco used in the filler, or its packaging, pricing, marketing, or labeling is likely to be offered to, purchased by, or consumed by consumers as a cigarette.The measure specifies that “cigarette” does not include electronic smoking device or roll-your-own tobacco.The measure defines “electronic smoking device” to mean any device that may be used to deliver any aerosolized or vaporized substance to the person inhaling from the device, including, but not limited to, an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, vape pen, or e-hookah. “Electronic smoking device” includes any component, part, or accessory of the device, whether or not sold separately, and also includes any substance intended to be aerosolized or vaporized during the use of the device, whether or not the substance contains nicotine. The measure specifies that “electronic smoking device” does not include any battery or battery charger when sold separately, nor doe sit mean drugs or devices if such drugs, devices, or combination products are authorized for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It also does not include cigarette.The measure defines “tobacco product” to mean:(i) any product containing, made of, or derived from tobacco or that contains nicotine that is intended for human consumption or is likely to be consumed, whether smoked, heated, chewed, dissolved, inhaled, absorbed, or ingested by any other means, including a cigarette unless otherwise stated, and including a cigar, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, or snus; (ii) any electronic smoking device and any substances that may be aerosolized or vaporized by such device, whether or not the substance contains nicotine; and (iii) any component, part, or accessory of a product described in clause (i) or (ii), whether or not such component, part, or accessory contains tobacco or nicotine, including filters, rolling papers, blunt or hemp wraps, and pipes. “Tobacco product” does not include drugs or devices, a if such drugs, devices, or combination products are authorized for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.