A new bill could result in hurting your favorite local cigar lounge. The Characterizing Flavors Bill has been introduced to the State House of Representatives to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products.
House Bill 1133, proposed by Rep. Carolyn Jackson, is geared towards reducing the appeal of tobacco with young adults and teens, specifically vape pens.
Tony Katz is concerned that this bill, if passed, would have carryover effects hurting local cigar shops.
‘Characterizing flavor,’ when you utilize a term like that you aren’t just applying it to vape or cigarettes, you can also play in the world of cigars. Because in the world of premium cigars, hand-rolled cigars…there are flavors (example; coffee notes.) …You would be limiting a tremendous number of premium cigars from the marketplace in the state of Indiana- doing massive damage to the mom-and-pop owned cigar shops.”
If the bill does not include an explicit exemption category to include premium cigars and pipe tobacco, the Premium Cigar Association is also concerned for their Hoosier members.
The current wording of HB 1133 follows;
“Ban on sale of flavored tobacco and e-liquids. Prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco products and their components, including: (1) cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco; and (2) tobacco products that have a characterizing flavor. Provides that a person or entity that sells a flavored tobacco product commits a Class C misdemeanor and may have the person’s tobacco sales certificate revoked by the alcohol and tobacco commission.”
The bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Public Policy.