On Tuesday, Nov. 25, the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Committee advanced three bills (29-19, 31-19, and 32-19) to the full Montgomery County Council. No date has been selected for consideration by the full council, but county staff indicated it will likely be in January 2020.
The bills do the following:
- Bill 29-19 prohibits an electronic smoking devices manufacturer from distributing electronic cigarettes to retail stores within 0.5 miles of any middle school or high school in the county.
- Bill 31-19 prohibits the distribution of any tobacco product, coupon redeemable for a tobacco product, cigarette rolling paper or electronic cigarette to any individual under 21 except under certain circumstances. Prohibits the use and possession of tobacco products by anyone under 21 years of age. Does not apply to military service members who are at least 18 years of age.
- Bill 32-19, as amended, prohibits an electronic smoking devices manufacturer from distributing flavored electronic cigarettes to stores within 0.5 miles of an elementary, middle, high school, library and recreational facility. The original version of the bill would have made it illegal for flavored electronic cigarettes to be sold within 1 mile of an elementary, middle, or high school, libraries, recreational facilities, parks and playgrounds. However, on Nov. 25, the Health and Human Services Committee reduced the “buffer” from 1 mile to 0.5 miles and removed “parks” and “playgrounds” from the restrictions. The attached version of 32-19 is the original version of the bill. The amended version of the bill is not yet available.
Note: The definition of “Manufacturer” used in Bill 29-19 and Bill 32-19 means the same as an “electronic smoking devices manufacturer” as defined in the Maryland Code. That definition reads as follows:
“Electronic nicotine delivery systems manufacturer” means a person that:
(1) manufactures, mixes, or otherwise produces electronic nicotine delivery systems intended for sale in the State, including electronic nicotine delivery systems intended for sale in the United States through an importer; and
(2)(i) sells electronic nicotine delivery systems to a consumer, if the consumer purchases or orders the systems through the mail, a computer network, a telephonic network, or another electronic network, a licensed electronic nicotine delivery systems wholesaler distributor, or a licensed electronic nicotine delivery systems wholesaler importer in the State;
(ii) if the electronic nicotine delivery systems manufacturer also holds a license to act as an electronic nicotine delivery systems retailer or a vape shop vendor, sells electronic nicotine delivery systems to consumers located in the State; or
(iii) unless otherwise prohibited or restricted under local law, this article, or the Criminal Law Article, distributes sample electronic nicotine delivery systems to a licensed electronic nicotine delivery systems retailer or vape shop vendor.
Retailers and industry stakeholders should consider contacting the Montgomery County Council to express concerns regarding the proximity restrictions on vapor products. We will keep you updated as information becomes available.
Contact the Montgomery County Council—let them know proximity restrictions on electronic cigarettes will be harmful to local retailers
Please contact Tim McKinney with NATO at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or for further information related to the NRN Alerts.