Vaping Is Now Taxed Nearly Twice As Much As Smoking In This State

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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.

Implications

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.

Jimmy, lover, blogger, vaper and ex-smoker. I’ve been blogging about and supporting Vaping since 2009. They changed my life and I think history will show them as one of the most significant public health invention of the 21st century.

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2 Responses

  1. smokefree says:

    Here is what doesn’t add up: the amount of e-cigarette consumption and nicotine addiction by middle and high school aged children soaring upward in out of control measures while the FDA sits back and fails to exercise their legislated authority to prevent this public health epidemic. If you look around this country you will see both legislation and corporate consciousness efforts doing their part to put a stop to this before it is too late. Vermont’s 92% tax on e-cigs is their way of putting the brakes on the next addicted replacement generation. Remember, the tobacco/vaping industry couldn’t care one bit about about the health issues of cigarettes and/or vapes. All they are interested in is which method can they continue to addict their next generation of customers – either smokers or vapors.

  2. What says:

    @smokefree I’m afraid you’re just leaving out the fact that the FDA has had a stranglehold on the vaping industry for years now? That all of the safety and advancements that have been made in the industry are technically illegal because of the FDAs rulings? You also missed the fact that the primary reason these governments are all demonizing vaping is because they rely SO HEAVILY on tobacco funds that still come in from the MSA, without which states would go bankrupt?

    Since you’re grouping both the tobacco industry and the vaping industry into one entity, I believe you may not be aware of those facts. The tobacco industry =/= the vaping industry. Tobacco companies entered into an already established vaping industry for profit. Consumers established the vaping industry to quit smoking, and did a dang fine job accomplishing that. (See: just about any reputable smoking cessation study) Tobacco companies are afraid, that’s why they bought into the biggest vaping company on the planet (the company that, by the way, is the largest culprit of underage vaping which, by the way, are acquired outside of vape shops, ie straw buyers, gas stations.)

    The FDA themselves has admitted the health benefits of vaping vs smoking, because nicotine isn’t the poison that people think it is, it’s the tar, carcinogens, etc. Oh, but it’s the kids. Teen cigarette use has gone down as teen vaping has gone up. Kids have always and will always attempt to push the limits, but so far there have been very few attacks on flavored cigarettes (and the ones that do make the mistake of grouping them with vapor products) and no attacks on the flavored and appealing alcohol market. Both of those markets kill people, factually speaking. The harms of vape equate to tertiary “seizure” reports, and brain development stunting, which exists with the products kids have been using for decades. No one thinks kids should be vaping, but they also shouldn’t be smoking, drinking, or using actual drugs.

    Sadly, the fear of “addicting the next generation of customers” is overshadowing the very sad reality that, if successful, it will once again embolden the already wealthy and toxic big tobacco giants. A 92% tax will accomplish that by also accomplishing the goal that it was actually made for: to drive vapers back to smoking so tobacco companies stop the losses, and they can release “vaping is a gateway to smoking” studies to pretend that they were right all along.

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