The next trend in e cigarette regulation is certainly sin taxes. Minnesota recently enacted one. Vapers who purchase their devices in Minnesota pay a whopping 95% tax on the wholesale price of the products. While this is applied to the wholesale price not the retail price, the tax is not actually double for consumers, but it is surely more than it should be. The scary thing is that other states may soon follow suit. They will call them sin taxes, but really it will just be local governments looking for more revenue.
There are currently two notable areas that are openly debating applying taxes to vapor products. The City of Philadelphia is contemplating taxiing devices $2.00 each and e liquid at $0.50 per ml. This would pretty much put disposable electronic cigarettes into an insanely high price bracket, and would ensure that even PV users and modders would slowly have to pitch in. The State of Arizona has been mulling an e cigarette tax also. They haven’t released any actual numbers that we have found, but vapor has been a subject of debate in Arizona for a while now.
Cities in Arizona, such as Tempe, have been adding vaporizers and traditional electronic cigarettes to their smoking bans. While this is not a tax it does lay the groundwork for them. Once local governments lump vapor in with tobacco, it will be that much easier to convince the general public that they are befitting of a sin tax. What we are seeing is a well-crafted plan to enact a tax on vapor in the very near future. This level of organization has not shown up in tax proposals in other states yet. However, taxes are proposed and enacted by politicians, so it is only a matter of time.
This makes it as important as ever to point out the benefits of vapor. The argument will certainly be that e cigarettes are harmful to public health, and as such deserve a tax. The only way to stop this tactic is to continue to show that e cigarettes are one of the most significant harm reduction tools that have come about in recent years. They allow millions of people to choose a better means of transitioning away from smoking. Yes, there may be health issues that are related to electronic cigarettes. In spite of that nearly every health agency in the world, even those that oppose vapor, has suggested that it is likely less harmful to the body. This is the message that must continue to be shared. Multiple studies confirm it, and more are currently being performed. The reality is that governments of all sizes are looking for new revenue channels to make up for budget deficits. Politicians can’t balance budgets, so they tax something new instead. The bottom line is, well, the actual bottom line.