New Mexico is facing a full boat of anti-vaping laws in 2019

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Alex Clark

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On November 1, 2018, the New Mexico Tobacco Settlement Revenue Oversight Committee met to discuss the status of revenue, appropriations, and several proposals for the 2019 legislative session. These proposals include:

  • Amending the Clean Indoor Air Act to include a ban on vaping (draft bill)
  • banning flavored vapor products (draft bill),
  • raising the minimum sales age to 21 and implementing fines for underage purchase of tobacco and nicotine products (draft bill), and;
  • enacting a 76% excise tax on vapor products (draft bill).

Following the November meeting, Senator Cisco McSorley (D-16) is introducing the following bills:

  • SB60 – (Tobacco 21) Raises the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21 with an exception for active duty military members who are 18 years old on July 1, 2019. SB60 would also softens language regarding penalties for underage purchasers of tobacco and nicotine products and adds the option of up to 48 hours of community service as a punishment.
  • SB 61 – (Indoor Vaping Ban) Bans vaping in the same places where smoking is prohibited by adding the use of e-cigarettes to the Dee Johnson Clean Indoor Air Act. Although New Mexico’s indoor clean air act provides for several exemptions where smoking and vaping would be allowed (including state gaming facilities, tobacco retail shops, and separate enclosed spaces in restaurants), this bill would erroneously redefine “secondhand smoke” to include “the aerosol or vapor emitted from inhaling or exhaling or any other use of an e-cigarette.”
  • SB 68 – (Flavor Ban) Bans the sale and purchase of tobacco or vapor products in flavors other than tobacco.
  • SB 72 – (Vapor Tax) Includes vapor products (devices and liquids) in the state’s “Tobacco Products Tax” and raises the rate to 76%. This tax is required to be paid by the “first purchaser” in the state.

At this time, CASAA is providing this as information to our New Mexico members. We urge everyone to make sure you are signed up for alerts from CASAA and encourage your friends and neighbors to Join CASAA. With a short legislative session, bills move quickly in New Mexico.

2019 New Mexico Session Dates:

December 17, 2018 – January 11, 2019 Legislation may be prefiled
January 15
Opening Day (12:00 PM)
February 14
Deadline for Introduction
March 16
Session Ends (12:00 PM)
April 5
Legislation not acted upon by governor is pocket vetoed.
June 14
Effective Date of legislation not on a general appropriation bill or a bill carrying an emergency clause or other specified date.
 
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