Maryland General Assembly: 2018 Public Health Legislation Recap
Below you will find a summary of the 2018 tobacco-related legislation as summarized by the Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy (LRC). Please Click Here to Access the Full LRC Report.
House Bill 47/Senate Bill 90: Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Retailer License - Sales Through Mail or Electronic Network: PASSED AS AN EMERGENCY BILL
This bill authorizes licensed electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) retailers to sell to consumers through the mail, or a computer, telephone, or other electronic network. The bill authorizes licensed ENDS wholesaler distributors or licensed ENDS wholesaler importers to sell ENDS to vape shop vendors. The bill received a favorable with amendments report in the House Economic Matters Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. The bill passed the House and Senate with amendments and is now in effect.
House Bill 1094: Distribution of Electronic Cigarettes to Minors - Prohibition and Penalties: PASSED
This bill prohibits individuals who commercially distribute tobacco products from distributing electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) to minors under criminal law. The bill prohibits individuals from purchasing for or selling ENDS to minors and prohibits minors from “using, possessing, obtaining, or attempting to obtain” ENDS. This bill essentially brings ENDS in line with the current laws covering other tobacco products. The bill also permits sworn law enforcement officers to issue civil citations for tobacco sales to minors under Health- Page 4 General §24-307. The bill received a favorable with amendments report in the House Economic Matters Committee and the Senate Finance and Senate Judicial Proceedings Committees. The bill passed the House and Senate with amendments and will take effect on October 1, 2018.
House Bill 606: Public Health - Tobacco Control Funding: FAILED
This bill would have required that $21 million go toward funding, beginning in fiscal year 2020 and each year thereafter, for activities related to reducing tobacco use in Maryland. When Maryland entered the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, the amount allocated to the annual funding of the Tobacco Use and Cessation Program was $21 million. In 2010, with the passage of the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2010, the amount was reduced to $6 million, with provisions to increase the amount to $10 million starting in 2013. That has been the mandate since 2013. This bill was heard in the House Appropriations Committee but did not receive a vote. The bill was previously introduced in 2017 and has been considered in some form since 2012.
House Bill 953/Senate Bill 456: Tobacco Products - Minimum Age and Civil Fines: FAILED
This bill would have raised the minimum legal sale age for tobacco products in Maryland from 18 to 21. The bill would have required tobacco retailers to check a government-issued identification for any prospective purchaser who the distributor reasonably believed to be under the age of 30 in order to verify their age. The bill was heard in the House Economic Matters Committee and the Senate Finance Committee but did not receive a vote in either. The bill was previously introduced in 2017.
House Bill 1737/Senate Bill 1266: Charles County- Cigarette Retailers - County License Fee: FAILED
This bill would have increased the fee for a county license to sell cigarettes at retail in Charles County from $25 to $125. The bill would have required the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Charles County to distribute $25 of this fee to the Comptroller and the other $100 of the fee to Charles County to be used to enforce existing laws prohibiting the sale or distribution of tobacco products to minors. The bill received a favorable report by the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee and was passed by the Senate. The bill received an unfavorable report in the House Economic Matters Committee
House Bill 1752: Aids for the Cessation of Tobacco Product Use - Prescribing and Dispensing by Pharmacists and Health Insurance Coverage: FAILED
This bill would have authorized qualifying pharmacists to prescribe and dispense medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration to individuals as an aid for the cessation of tobacco use. The bill would have altered the definition of “nicotine replacement therapy” to require some insurers, health service plans, and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage for over-the-counter products. The bill was filed late and did not get out of the House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee.