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Massachusetts Legislature Considers E-Cigarette Excise Tax

The Massachusetts legislature has introduced a measure that would impose tobacco excise taxes on e-cigarettes.

House bill number 4291, introduced by the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing on July 19, 2012, would impose substantial excise tax increases on other tobacco products, such as cigars, smoking tobacco and smokeless tobacco. 

The bill also would subject e-cigarettes to the excise tax applicable to smokeless tobacco by redefining the term “smokeless tobacco” to include “any product containing, made, or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption, whether chewed, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, snorted, sniffed, or ingested by means other than smoking . . . .”

The bill would also broaden the definition of “smoking tobacco” to include, not just roll-your-own and pipe tobacco, but also “tobacco leaf, tobacco sheet, or any substance containing tobacco which is suitable for rolling or wrapping tobacco or any other substance for smoking.”  This change appears to be an effort to collect taxes on any consumer-made cigarettes, even if the tobacco used by the consumer has not been processed.

Stay tuned for developments on this bill.

For questions and/or comments, please contact Bryan Haynes, at 804.697.1420 or by email.