E-cigarette retailers may be charged a $1,200 annual license fee

Highland Park Borough Council at its March 15, 2016 meeting introduced an ordinance to license establishments that sell electronic smoking devices. Councilwoman Elsie Foster-Dublin abstained because of unstated “concerns” about a levy on certain retailers, but thanked the Highland Park Board of Health for its hard work on the preparation of the ordinance. The public hearing and final vote will occur on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 meeting.

According to Councilman Josh Fine, who is the council liaison to the board of health, the purpose of the ordinance simply is to license establishments that sell electronic smoking devices. The funds collected by licensing of such establishments shall be used to fund the development and maintenance of a Tobacco Age-of-Sale Enforcement Program and other smoking cessations, prevention and control programs.

An electronic smoking device refers to an electronic or other powered device that can be used to deliver nicotine or other substances to the person inhaling from the device, including but not limited to, an electronic cigarette, cigar, cigarillo or pipe.

According to Councilman Fine, there are nine establishments in town that currently sell such devices and would be required to get a license during the calendar year – January 1 to December 31. The license fee is $1, 200 per year, but will be pro-rated based on the number of months remaining in the License Year including the month in which the license is issued; for example, a license issued to a new licensee in July shall be for six months, a fee of $600.00.

The ordinance would take effect on July 1, 2016, pending final approval.


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