Senate Bill 177 and House Bill 134 bans the sale of flavored tobacco products in Maryland. The prohibition is triggered by the existence of a “characterizing flavor”. This overly broad term will negatively impact premium cigar and pipe tobacco products to which no outside flavoring is added. Retailers, consumers, and manufacturers will not know from one day to the next whether their premium cigars or pipe tobacco will be banned because someone claimed it had a “characterizing flavor”.
This problem can be eliminated by exempting premium cigars and pipe tobacco from the bill. Last year, the Maryland House of Delegates did just that, amending a similar bill which ultimately did not pass. These bills have been assigned to the Maryland Senate Finance Committee and the House Economic Matters Committee.
If you are a cigar consumer, shop owner, employee, or manufacturer, take a few moments to send your state elected officials a note telling them that premium cigars and pipe tobacco have no added flavors and are not products used to attract young people to tobacco use. Premium cigars and pipe tobacco should be taken out of proposed SB 177 and HB 134.