A new bill in Nevada seeks to end cigarette sales in the state by 2030 but somehow would spare cigars.
Assemblyman David Orentlicher, D-Clark County, has introduced A.B. 294, which would make several changes to how cigarettes are sold in the state of Nevada, most notably, more or less outlawing their sale by 2030.
Amongst many other things, the bill would bar the Nevada Department of Taxation from issuing any license to any vending machine operator, manufacturer or wholesale dealer of cigarettes on or after Jan. 1, 2029. The licenses are only valid in the calendar year they are issued, meaning there would be no licensed wholesale dealers beginning on Jan. 1, 2030. At that point, retailers could no longer legally buy cigarettes from their suppliers and at some point would run out of cigarettes to sell.
It would also make it illegal to sell cigarettes to anyone born on or after Dec. 31, 2002, meaning that anyone not 21 years old or older by the end of this year would never be allowed to purchase cigarettes legally in Nevada.
Unlike most proposed tobacco sales bans, which largely introduce penalties for those caught selling, A.B. 294 would open the door for punishing potential consumers. It would allow counties in Nevada to pass their own laws that made it illegal for anyone born after Dec. 31, 2002 to possess, attempt to possess, purchase, attempt to purchase or smoke cigarettes. The bill wouldn’t outlaw those actions but would give counties the power to do so in the future.
Nevada generated $153 million in cigarette tax revenue in FY22 and $162.1 million in FY21.
For cigar smokers, the bill isn’t all that bad. The bill focuses on cigarettes and doesn’t appear to explicitly mention cigars. Other tobacco products, which includes cigars, would remain legal, even to those born after Dec. 31, 2002.
While cigars might be spared, e-cigarettes would be affected. The bill would ban all e-cigarettes that are flavored to taste like something other than tobacco.
Orentlicher is also the director of UNLV’s health law program.