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Vape Tax

The USA is pushing unjustified taxes onto the vaping community.

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As with the moves to restrict vaping to over-21s, the moves to impose unjust taxes on vape equipment are meeting with vocal resistance. Montana, Nevada and California are joining with New York in attempting to use fraudulent science to justify punishing harm reductionists.

Senator Mary Caferro claims high tax rates will prevent children from taking up smoking, but she failed to explain to the Montana senate how it would impact on the current smokers seeking to switch to something 95% safer than traditional tobacco cigarettes. The proposal is that eliquid will carry a tax rate of 74%!

Unsurprisingly, vapers, vape shop owners and store employees are opposed to this idiocy. One store owner commented: “What’s going to happen, we’re going to be put out of business, employees are going to go on the unemployment line and folks are going to be buying products on the Internet.”

But politicians have a steady stream of charlatans and liars ready to back them up through spouting fiction. Liars like Doctor Robert Shepard: “Not only do e-cigarettes not help people quit, but they hurt their chances of quitting.” Liars like Shepard who claim vaping makes kids five times more likely to begin smoking tobacco.

The New York Post calls the arguments to support a tax levy on vaping “anti-science”. Rather than provide a justification for punitive action, Brian Fojtik writes: “A glance at the report provides cause for celebration, not panic. It reveals that increased experimentation with e-cigarettes among teens has been associated with a dramatic reduction in smoking. Teen cigarette use in New York fell gradually, from about 27 percent in 2000 to about 12 percent in 2012, a drop of 1.25 percentage points a year. Since then, it has fallen to around 4 percent, a rate of 2 percentage points a year.”

As the old adage goes, if electronic cigarettes are being marketed directly at teens then the people responsible are doing a very poor job.

Andrew Osborne, Vice President of the New York State Vapour Association, said: “The problem is for smokers, and not just the increased cost, but the message that that sends from New York State directly to the smokers. They're basically saying if they're going to tax it at the same rate or similarly if they're going to regulate it just like it's smoking, then unfortunately for the millions of smokers all across New York State, they're going to interpret that message as vaping is equal to smoking, it's probably just as bad and they may actually be denying themselves something that could save their life.”

Over in California, simple taxation of vaping isn’t enough for Stanton Glantz. Oh no, vapers should be hit harder than smokers in his laughable opinion: “While a puff on an e-cigarette is less toxic than a puff on a conventional cigarette, this analysis ignores two important population impacts of e-cigarettes: (1) bringing new kids into the nicotine and cigarette market, and (2) substantially reducing cigarette smoking cessation among smokers. Given these realities, this recommendation would justify taxing e-cigarettes at higher levels than cigarettes.”

Lying that vaping creates young smokers, lying that vaping doesn’t help people quit smoking – it’s all the anti-THR brigade have left in their locker and it justifies nothing.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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