Vaping Is Now Taxed Nearly Twice As Much As Smoking In This State
Vermont’s new 92% e-cigarette tax took effect this week, with some worried it will ultimately increase the number of smokers.
Vaping taxes have become an all too common part of life for vapers across the US, with legislators often content to tax them at the same rate as cigarettes. Despite the clear and obvious reasons vaping and smoking should be treated differently, some lawmakers have taken that sentiment too far in the wrong direction.
Vermont passed a hefty 92% tax on vaping earlier this year, which officially took effect earlier this week. Unfortunately for vapers, this means the tax on vaping products is almost twice as high as the per pack tax on cigarettes.
Vaping advocates have blasted this backward logic for giving clear incentive for vapers to switch back to cigarettes. Vaping and smoking may appear outwardly similar, but research shows their relative risk is vastly different.
Regardless, many anti-vapers still consider this new tax a victory for making e-cigarettes much more expensive. It’s unclear what sort of impact the law will have outside of Vermont, but as discussed when the bill was first passed, it will undoubtedly lead to many small business closures across the Green Mountain state.
Nearly Twice As High
When the state legislators passed their 92% tax earlier this year, it glaringly did not impact packs of cigarettes or roll-your-own cigarettes. It did, however, place a 92% tax on “all other tobacco products” such as chewing tobacco.
When you compare this with the average cost of a pack of cigarettes in Vermont, something doesn’t quite add up. For starters, Vermont’s government tax website clearly states the tax on a pack of 20 cigarettes is $3.08. According to reports, the average cost of a pack of cigarettes in Vermont is $9.62, which means without the tax they would cost approximately $6.54 per pack.
A simple calculation then shows packs of cigarettes in Vermont are only taxed at a rate of around 47%. So instead of doing what many other states have done and start taxing vaping and smoking at the same rate, which is still fairly unreasonable given the research, Vermont has chosen a wildly different approach.
In addition to their new tax, state lawmakers also raised the age to buy tobacco and vaping products to 21 and greatly restricted the sale of e-cigarettes over the internet. There hasn’t been much reporting on the glaring oversights of this new tax from the mainstream media, but vaping advocates across the country are still working to get the word out.
What Science Says About Vaping
The most common argument for misguided and overreaching vaping regulations like these is protecting the youth. Many legislators haven’t taken the time to look into the research themselves and therefore protecting the youth is a very worthwhile cause.
Unfortunately, if they looked into the research for themselves, they would see the truth is not so dire. A report of over 60,000 teens by Action on Smoking and Health concluded that only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever vaping more than a few times. This means far fewer than even 0.1% could ever be ending up full-blown smokers because of smoking.
Other reports have proven a clear smoking cessation value for e-cigarettes. For instance, a report out of the University of Louisville tested all the most common smoking cessation tools and methods. After collecting and analyzing all their data, the team concluded that not only is vaping an effective quit aid, but it’s more likely to succeed than anything else.
Looking into the harm reduction value, and there’s even more reason to support them. We’ve known since 2015 that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, while reports from just last year out of Roswell Park continue to back this up. Even more impressively a report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is about 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker.
Vapers everywhere should be mad that such a blatant overtaxing of vaporizers is going unnoticed. The more normalized it becomes to treat vaping like smoking, or worse, the harder it will become to protect our rights as vapers.
It may only be a matter of time before the entire vaping industry is barely a shell of its former self. That would undoubtedly lead many vapers to turn back to a life of smoking.
If we want to prevent this from happening, the best thing any of us can do is teach the smokers in our lives about the distinct differences between vaping and smoking. The more people who understand what’s at stake, the stronger our cause will become.
Do you think it’s fair for vaping to be taxed so heavily by the state of Vermont? What’s the most critical thing vapers can do to protect their rights in your opinion? How should we work together to teach others about the value of vaping? 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.