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Alabama: News
February 13, 2020



  • House Bill 69 defines “enhanced vapor products” as vaping devices that contain flavorings and/or have a nicotine content of “four percent” or greater.

    • Enhanced vapor products include reusable and disposable products as well as any type of device including open tank mod-styles and cartridge-based systems.

    • Retailers of enhanced vapor products would be required to maintain annual licenses.

    • Moreover, these products would be sold exclusively in age-restricted stores, and all sales must be in-person, essentially banning all other sales, including online, catalog, and phone sales. 

  • House Bill 32 would apply the tobacco tax to vapor products and increase the excise tax from 15 percent to 27.5 percent of the wholesale price.

    • The legislation also eliminates previous legislation that recognized tobacco harm reduction.

  • According to the 2019 Kentucky High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey, Kentucky does not have an epidemic of youth using e-cigarettes. In 2019, 73.9 percent of Kentucky high school students reported not using a vapor product in the 30 days prior to the survey. Only 8.7 percent reported daily e-cigarette use.

  • The Heartland Institute recently analyzed several statewide youth vaping surveys to understand the role of flavors in youth e-cigarette use. In an analysis of five states, only 15.6 percent of high school students cited using e-cigarettes because of flavors. Overwhelmingly, youth are using vapor products because a friend and/or family member had used them.

  • Rather than taxing tobacco harm reduction products, lawmakers should note their use reduces current costs.

    • For example, one analysis estimated Medicaid savings could have amounted to $48 billion in 2012 if e-cigarettes had been adopted in place of combustible cigarettes by all Medicaid recipients who currently consume cigarettes.

    • A 2017 study found Medicaid savings “will be approximately $2.8 billion per 1 percent of enrollees, over the next 25 years if 1 percent of Medicaid recipients switched from combustible cigarettes to e-cigarettes.

  • Kentucky lawmakers should rely on existing tobacco funding for programs that can reduce youth e-cigarette use and help adults quit smoking.



January 10, 2020

Key Points: 

  • Kentucky’s vaping industry provided more than $942 million in economic activity in 2018 while generating 2,546 vaping-related jobs. Sales of disposables and prefilled cartridges in Kentucky exceeded $9 million in 2016.

  • As of December 20, 2019, KCHFS has reported six cases of vaping-related lung illness. KCHFS does not provide information on age, gender, or substances vaped. KCHFS earns an F-ranking for its reporting on vaping-related lung illnesses.

  • During 2016-2017, only 8.7 percent of Kentucky high school students reported using e-cigarettes daily, while 73.9 percent reported not vaping. More data is needed.

  • Only 1 percent of FDA retail compliance checks resulted in sales of e-cigarettes to minors from January 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019.

  • Kentucky spends very little on tobacco prevention. In 2019, Kentucky dedicated only $3.8 million on tobacco control, or 1 percent of what the state received in tobacco settlement payments and taxes.

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