The 2022 legislative session is over halfway through, and we wanted to give you an update on the status of our key legislative issues. I’m going to be honest; it hasn’t been an easy session for our tobacco control issues. With only 60 days in the session, things move quickly. Bills that aren’t crucial to the state budget needed to move out of their “house of origin” by February 17. Sadly, two of our priority bills did not make through that deadline.
SB5129 – would have reformed the state PUP law to focus the penalties on the stores that sell to underage purchasers.
HB2039 – would have given the state Department of Health the ability to regulate flavored tobacco.
We knew that a short session in an election year would make these bills difficult to pass but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth trying. We have raised a lot of awareness on the importance of these policies with legislators and we fully intend to be back in 2023 to continue to work on them. When things get tough, I remind myself that it took 5 years to pass legislation to raise the legal tobacco purchase age to 21.
While these bills are dead for the session, we are still monitoring other issues including HB1676 to reform the e-cigarette tax and SB5821 legislation that would evaluate and improve our state's cardiac and stroke system. We are also working on securing funding in the supplemental budget towards rebuilding the public health infrastructure for commercial tobacco and vapor product prevention, education, and treatment.
Thank you for your support this legislative session. With your help we sent over 500 messages to lawmakers on tobacco control. They have heard our voice and they know these are issues that are important to community.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or Penny Lipsou: [email protected]
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