Insane New Tax Proposal Could Change Vaping Forever
Vermont is once again floating the idea of a 92% vaping tax, but this time the governor is backing the proposal
Vaping regulations are running rampant around the world. Between the lack of understanding on e-cigarettes and their visual similarities to smoking, it’s no wonder so many legislators decide to place harsh bans or taxes on vaping products. In fact, the misinformation surrounding vapes has been directly related to wider acceptance of these crippling regulations. These new laws are often sold to the public as purely about protecting health, but at the same time, they’re putting millions of extra dollars in the government’s budget. Regardless of what drives them, another state may soon be implementing an insanely harsh tax on the popular harm reduction and smoking cessation tools.
Vermont’s governor, Phil Scott, is now backing a plan which would place a 92% wholesale tax on all vaporizers and vaping products sold in the state. This type of tax has been seen in various places, but the logic behind them is often cloudy. While proponents claim these new levy’s significantly reduce access to vapes by teens, critics point to evidence which suggests these regulations are ultimately doing more harm than good. Only time will tell the full impact this new tax, but 2019 is proving once again it may be a make or break year for the entire industry.
The Proposed Vermont Tax
This is not the first time vapers in Vermont have faced this potentially devastating tax. In fact, the same proposal has been made for the last several years, but thankfully has always failed to get very far. The closest it got was last year when a 46% tax was agreed on but ultimately was never passed and implemented. Unfortunately, this year things are a bit different with strong support coming from Gov. Scott. If passed this bill would extend the states tobacco tax onto vaping products, a move estimated to generate over $1 million in tax revenue. Although according to legislators, the money is merely circumstantial and not a primary focus of the regulation, something many in the vaping community actively dispute.
Regardless, it seems more likely than ever vapers in Vermont will soon face a nearly doubled cost of vaping their favorite products. Critics say this will inevitably lead to many vapers in the state reverting back to tobacco, with vaping products much harder to find and more expensive to buy. Gov. Scott and his team remain resolute their plan will only serve to limit the number of teens picking up vapes, regardless of outside criticism. In fact, Gov. Scott has only briefly acknowledged concerns about his sudden turn around on his “no new taxes” mantra. A move which has some questioning his true intentions.
The Outside Evidence
When considering if vaping is actually doing more harm to society than good, a great place to start is looking at the impact on teens. After all, this is hands-down the most commonly referenced reason parents and legislators give for needing to restrict vaping. Well, a report of over 60,000 students concluded that only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up vaporizers on a regular basis. That means a lot less are ever picking up cigarettes; hardly an epidemic. For those who do start vaping, it’s far more likely it will end their previous tobacco addiction than lead to one. In fact, a study published by researchers at the University of Louisville tested the success rate of all the most common smoking cessation tools and concluded vaping is the most likely to be successful, even beating out prescription drugs.
Taking a closer look at the harm reduction value of vaping and you get an even clearer picture. It was back in 2015 we had our first piece of reputable evidence which concluded vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. This has been shown over and over, with just last month another report finding e-liquid vapor contains about 93% fewer toxicants than cigarette smoke. But the cherry on top of the harm reduction sundae is a report which found the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker.
Taxes like these have only become more and more common. Perhaps it’s because so many people are still woefully misinformed about vaping, or maybe it’s the promise of extra tax money for nothing. But whatever it is, vaping clearly has an undeserved target on its back. By placing extreme regulations on vaping, or even using the same ones as tobacco, it’s giving a huge advantage to Big Tobacco who relies on misinformation to thrive. After all, why even bother switching to vaping if you think they’re just as dangerous as smoking? There are much better ways for us to protect the youth from vaping, without giving an unfair advantage to Big Tobacco in the process. If we want to end the tobacco epidemic once and for all, we must support tools like vaping, not undermine them.
Are you concerned about taxes like this becoming more common? Is it fair to tax vaping by the same standards as tobacco? How should we be working to spread positive information about vaping to those around us? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.