New Editorial Calls Out Chris Christie For E-Cig Lies
On April 7, the Star-Ledger Editorial Board published a scathing reply to Governor Chris Christie’s proposed sin tax on electronic cigarettes. New Jersey vapers are angry because they feel that Gov. Christie has an ulterior motive for the sin tax and they aren’t buying his claims that he is simply concerned for the health of New Jersey residents.
The editorial wasted no time getting right to the inconsistencies in the matter. “Excuse our skepticism, but Christie cut $7.5 million from the state’s anti-smoking programs in 2010, and since then the state has spent little to nothing on smoking cessation and education programs. No doubt another main concern is the governor’s budget: Christie anticipates $35 million in revenue from this tax.”
The article goes on to point out that e-cigarettes are not even a proven threat to public health, while tobacco is well known to be a real problem. So far, the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made no official move to regulate e-cig sales. The Editorial points out that we already know that e-cigs can be less addictive than cigarettes, plus they eliminate tar and toxins that are killing thousands of people each year.
While recent studies show that electronic cigarettes are at least as effective as nicotine patches to help people quit smoking, Gov. Christie is waging war against the vaping industry. Yet tobacco is the single largest cause of preventable death in the United States. If he is so concerned about the health of his state, why isn’t he focusing on tobacco companies instead of targeting the one alternative that promises to help smokers escape from cigarette addiction?
The editorial suggests that Gov. Christie and his colleagues need to do some further study before they “bring down the hammer and start imposing punitive taxes.” While New Jersey vapers seem to embrace the idea of quality control, they reject the sin tax because it is ultimately counterproductive to the ultimate goal of helping smokers quit. “E-cigarettes should be taxed at the same level as pharmaceutical, over-the-counter nicotine products that help smokers quit – with a simple sales tax.”
By implementing the new sin tax on electronic cigarettes, Gov. Christie is making e-cigs less attractive to smokers. They lose the money-savings appeal and for many smokers, that alone is enough for them to forsake tobacco in favor of vaping. If New Jersey administration is truly concerned for public health, they should embrace any alternative to tobacco and do everything in their power to make sure it is successful and widely accessible to adult smokers that want to quit.
Do you think the sin tax is unreasonable? Is public health the real concern or this about lining the state’s pockets with additional tax revenue?