NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A7106
SPONSOR: Gottfried (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law and the tax law,
in relation to amending certain definitions relating to tobacco
products; and to amend the public health law and the tax law, in
relation to changing the minimum pack sizes for tobacco products and the
tax amount for tobacco products
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To make sure the tax definition of
tobacco products includes all smokeless tobacco products and that all
tobacco products will be subject to state tobacco product tax laws.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Public Health Law § 1399-aa subdivi-
sion 5 is amended so the definition of "tobacco products" includes all
new and novel smokeless tobacco products.
Section 1399-an is amended by adding a new subdivision 14 so the defi-
nition of "cigarette" is uniform for all state tobacco product laws.
Subdivisions 1, 2 and 2-a of section 470 of the Tax Law are amended to
conform with the PHL changes.
A new subdivision 2-c is added to make sure the weight-based tax does
not apply to very-low-weight smokeless tobacco.
A new subdivision 2-d is added: "Moist snuff' is defined.
Subdivision 2 of section 1399-gg of the public health law is amended to
set minimum pack sizes for all tobacco products.
Subdivision 1 of section 471-b of the Tax Law is amended to avoid sharp-
ly under-taxing new and novel tobacco products compared to other tobacco
products, New York should tax all the different types of tobacco
products at the same or parallel high rates.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2013-2014 Regular Sessions
May 1, 2013
Introduced by M. of A. GOTTFRIED, DINOWITZ, GALEF, PAULIN, ROSENTHAL,
JAFFEE, MILLMAN, SEPULVEDA, TITUS -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A.
BOYLAND, BROOK-KRASNY, CLARK, COOK, JACOBS, McDONALD, ROSA -- read
once and referred to the Committee on Health
AN ACT to amend the public health law and the tax law, in relation to
amending certain definitions relating to tobacco products; and to
amend the public health law and the tax law, in relation to changing
the minimum pack sizes for tobacco products and the tax amount for
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Subdivision 5 of section 1399-aa of the public health law,
2 as amended by chapter 152 of the laws of 2004, is amended and a new
3 subdivision 14 is added to read as follows:
4 5. "Tobacco products" means one or more cigarettes or cigars, bidis,
5 chewing tobacco, loose tobacco, single-unit tobacco, powdered tobacco,
6 nicotine water or any other tobacco products and also includes any other
7 product containing tobacco or nicotine that is intended or expected to
8 be consumed except for any such product that has been approved by the
9 U.S. Food and Drug Administration for sale as a tobacco use cessation
10 product or for other medical purposes and is being marketed and sold
11 solely for that approved purpose.
12 14. "Cigarette" means any roll for smoking made wholly or in part of
13 tobacco or of any other substance, irrespective of size, shape, appear-
14 ance, packaging, pricing, marketing or labeling and whether or not such
15 tobacco or substance is flavored, adulterated or mixed with any other
16 ingredient, the wrapper or cover of which is made of paper or any other
17 substance or material but is not made in whole or in part of tobacco
18 that is likely to be offered to, purchased by, or consumed by consumers
19 as a cigarette, as defined above, including any roll for smoking
20 containing tobacco wrapped in a substance containing tobacco that weighs
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
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1 no more than four and a half pounds per thousand unless it is wrapped in
2 whole tobacco leaf and does not have an internal filter.
3 § 2. Subdivisions 1, 2 and 2-a of section 470 of the tax law, subdivi-
4 sion 1 as amended by section 14 and subdivision 2 as amended by section
5 15 of part D of chapter 134 of the laws of 2010 and subdivision 2-a as
6 added by chapter 552 of the laws of 2008, are amended and two new subdi-
7 visions 2-c and 2-d are added to read as follows:
8 1. "Cigarette." Any roll for smoking made wholly or in part of tobacco
9 or of any other substance, irrespective of size [or], shape, appearance,
10 packaging, pricing, marketing or labeling and whether or not such tobac-
11 co or substance is flavored, adulterated or mixed with any other ingre-
12 dient, the wrapper or cover of which is made of paper or any other
13 substance or material but is not made in whole or in part of tobacco
14 that is likely to be offered to, purchased by, or consumed by consumers
15 as a cigarette, as defined above, including any roll for smoking
16 containing tobacco wrapped in a substance containing tobacco that weighs
17 no more than four and a half pounds per thousand unless it is wrapped in
18 whole tobacco leaf and does not have an internal filter.
19 2. "Tobacco products." Any cigar, including a little cigar, or tobac-
20 co, other than cigarettes, [intended for consumption by smoking, chew-
21 ing, or as snuff] and also includes any other product containing tobacco
22 or nicotine that is intended or expected to be consumed except for any
23 such product that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Adminis-
24 tration for sale as a tobacco use cessation product or for other medical
25 purposes and is being marketed and sold solely for that approved
27 2-a. "[Roll-your-own] Loose tobacco." Any tobacco product that,
28 because of its appearance, type, packaging or labeling, is suitable for
29 use and likely to be offered to, or purchased by, consumers as tobacco
30 for making cigarettes. Loose tobacco shall also include pipe tobacco,
31 roll-your-own tobacco and any other loose tobacco used for smoking.
32 2-c. "Single-unit tobacco products." Any tobacco product, including
33 finely cut, ground or powdered loose tobacco or blend containing tobacco
34 intended for oral consumption without being combusted, other than ciga-
35 rettes or cigars, that is offered in discrete single-use tablets,
36 lozenges, pouches, pills, or other single-dose or single-use units, or
37 in packages of such single-use units.
38 2-d. "Moist snuff." Finely cut, ground or powdered loose tobacco or
39 blend containing tobacco intended for oral consumption without being
40 combusted that is not a single-unit tobacco product as defined in subdi-
41 vision two-c of this section.
42 § 3. Subdivision 2 of section 1399-gg of the public health law, as
43 added by chapter 513 of the laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows:
44 2. No person engaged in the business of manufacturing, selling or
45 otherwise distributing tobacco products, herbal cigarettes, cigarette
46 wrapping papers, wrapping leaves or tubes, or any agent or employee of
47 such person, shall manufacture or cause to be manufactured for sale in
48 this state, or sell or distribute in this state: (a) any package or
49 other container of cigarettes containing fewer than twenty cigarettes;
50 (b) any package of [roll-your-own] loose tobacco containing less than
51 [six-tenths] sixty-five hundredths of an ounce of tobacco; [or] (c) any
52 package of cigars containing fewer than five cigars; (d) any package of
53 single-unit tobacco, as defined in subdivision two-c of section four
54 hundred seventy of the tax law, containing fewer than twenty pieces of
55 single-use units; (e) any package of moist snuff containing less than an
56 ounce of tobacco; or (f) any package or other container of cigarette
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1 wrapping papers, wrapping leaves or tubes, that are or are held out to
2 be suitable for use or used as devices to wrap tobacco for smoking,
3 containing fewer than twenty sheets, leaves or tubes.
4 § 4. Subdivision 1 of section 471-b of the tax law, as amended by
5 section 2 of part QQ-1 of chapter 57 of the laws of 2008, paragraphs (a)
6 and (b) as amended by section 18 and paragraph (c) as added by section
7 19 of part D of chapter 134 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as
9 1. There is hereby imposed and shall be paid a tax on all tobacco
10 products possessed in this state by any person for sale, except that no
11 tax shall be imposed on tobacco products sold under such circumstances
12 that this state is without power to impose such tax, or sold to the
13 United States, or sold to or by a voluntary unincorporated organization
14 of the armed forces of the United States operating a place for the sale
15 of goods pursuant to regulations promulgated by the appropriate execu-
16 tive agency of the United States, to the extent provided in such regu-
17 lations and policy statements of such an agency applicable to such
19 (a) Such tax on tobacco products [other than snuff and little cigars]
20 shall be at the rate of [seventy-five] ninety-five percent of the whole-
21 sale price or the minimum rates as indicated in paragraph (b), (c), (d),
22 (e) or (f) of this subdivision, whichever is higher, and is intended to
23 be imposed only once upon the sale of any tobacco products [other than
24 snuff and little cigars].
25 (b) Such minimum tax on moist snuff shall be at the rate of [two]
26 three dollars and sixty-three cents per ounce and a proportionate rate
27 on any fractional parts of an ounce[, provided that cans or packages of
28 snuff with a net weight of less than one ounce shall be taxed at the
29 equivalent rate of cans or packages weighing one ounce]. Such tax shall
30 be computed based on the net weight as listed by the manufacturer, and
31 is intended to be imposed only once upon the sale of any moist snuff.
32 (c) Such tax on little cigars shall be at the same rate imposed on
33 cigarettes under this article and is intended to be imposed only once
34 upon the sale of any little cigars.
35 (d) Such minimum tax on single-unit tobacco products shall be at the
36 same rate imposed on cigarettes under this article and is intended to be
37 imposed only once upon the sale of any single-dose or single-unit tobac-
38 co products.
39 (e) Such minimum tax on any loose tobacco meant for smoking shall be
40 equal to the amount of the total tax on a pack of twenty cigarettes
41 under this article per 0.65 ounces with a proportionate tax on any other
42 weights, based on the net weight determined by the manufacturer. Such
43 tax is intended to be imposed only once upon the sale of any loose
45 (f) Such minimum tax on cigars, other than little cigars, shall be
46 equal to the amount of the total tax on a pack of twenty cigarettes
47 under this article with a proportionate tax on packages with fewer than
48 five cigars and is intended to be imposed only once upon the sale of any
50 It shall be presumed that all tobacco products within the state are
51 subject to tax until the contrary is established, and the burden of
52 proof that any tobacco products are not taxable hereunder shall be upon
53 the person in possession thereof.
54 § 5. This act shall take effect immediately.