February 16, 2011 - While the FDA tobacco regulations banned flavored cigarettes as of Sept. 22, 2009, except those with menthol or tobacco flavors, a bill being considered by the Washington state legislature would prohibit the sale of all other tobacco products with a "distinguishable flavor, taste or aroma" other than a true tobacco flavor and also ban the sale of "capsular smokeless tobacco." National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) and its members have been working to oppose this legislation because it would also have a significant financial impact on retailers as a result of lost sales.
Washington State - to protect children from becoming nicotine addicts lawmakers considering banning flavored tobacco products..
This ban on flavored tobacco products would include flavored cigars, smokeless tobacco, moist snuff and pipe tobacco. The prohibition on the sale of capsular products would outlaw any product containing tobacco "offered in discrete single dose or single use lozenges, pouches, pills, capsules, or other single use units." According to a fiscal impact calculation made by the Washington Department of Revenue, and assuming the bill was enacted into law, the state of Washington would lose tens of millions of dollars in tobacco excise tax revenue. This lost tobacco tax revenue is estimated at $21,188,000 in 2012-2013, $25,428,000 in 2014-2015 and another $28,034,000 in 2016-2017.
While the bill has been heard by both the House Health Care and Wellness Committee and the Senate Committee on Labor and Commerce and Consumer Protection, neither committee voted to take action on the legislation. The bill remains in both committees awaiting further action.
Reference: NATO Opposes Flavored Tobacco and Capsular Ban Washington State Could Lose $21 Million in Tobacco Taxes During 2012 and 2013 by Thomas Briant, NATO Executive Director, CSP Daily News, 2/15/2011.