Nixon Vetoes Legislation Exempting E-Cigarettes From Tobacco Tax

By KOLR10 News

Published 07/14 2014 12:36PM

Updated 07/14 2014 04:05PM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Governor Jay Nixon vetoed a bill exempting electronic cigarettes from existing laws and taxes on traditional tobacco cigarettes.

According to Nixon, Senate Bill 841 is favored by the tobacco industry and sellers of e-cigarettes and would have jeopardized public health.
“This bill appears to be nothing more than a thinly disguised and cynical attempt to exempt e-cigarettes from taxes and regulations protecting public health,” Nixon says in a news statement. “The FDA is already moving forward to ban the sale of these products to minors. Until more is known about the health effects of these products, letting tobacco companies off the hook with special loopholes would pose a real threat to Missourians’ health now and in the future.”
This past April, the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed new regulations to place e-cigarettes under the same restrictions as traditional tobacco products, including prohibiting the sale or marketing of e-cigarettes to minors, or advertising e-cigarettes on television.

According to a summary of the bill, the legislation would have required anyone selling tobacco products, including alternative nicotine or vapor products, to deny the sale of those products to people under 18 years of age. 

The bill also requires sellers of vapor or alternative nicotine products to have a license.

However, the bill goes on to say those type of products would not be taxed or otherwise regulated as tobacco products.
Nixon’s full veto message can be found here.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) released a statement applauding Nixon's decision to veto the legislation. 

“Governor Nixon’s veto means Missouri will not fall victim to Big Tobacco’s trickery. While the bill passed by the Legislature ostensibly prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors, what it really does is create loopholes and exemptions to Missouri’s tobacco laws for these still unproven and potentially harmful devices," says a statement from the organization. "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already stated it intends to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors; making it apparent that the real intent of this Big Tobacco bill was to skirt our state’s existing tobacco control laws."

To read the ACS CAN's full statement, visit the link above.
He also signed two health-related bills, which will provide Missourians in specific situations with additional options for medical treatment of illness and disease, according to the statement.

House Bill 1685 allows drug manufacturers to make available investigational drugs, biological products, or devices to certain eligible terminally ill patients. 

House Bill 2238 allows the use of hemp extract to treat some individuals with epilepsy and also allows the Department of Agriculture to issue licenses to grow industrial hemp strictly for research purposes. The bill contains an emergency clause.

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