The Week in Vaping – Issue 13

Hello and welcome to the latest issue of The Week in Vaping, where we round up all of the big stories from the past week in the vaping world. It’s been quite a quiet one this week in comparison to the last few, but some interesting news has still come out.

The Tax Foundation in America releases report on taxation on vaping

Founded in 1937, the Tax Foundation is America’s oldest think-tank. Aiming to educate taxpayers about sound tax policy, they have now performed a comprehensive study on sin taxes on vaping, something which has become a common discussion both within the US and around the world.

The report begins by stating that as of 1st January 2016 four states, the District of Columbia and three local jurisdictions have enacted taxes on vaping, with 23 other states considering taxation in 2015. This really shows the creeping nature of taxation – one enacts, others immediately follow. We see this almost every week in this very blog, with constant mentions of yet another state thinking about taxes and classifying e-cigarettes as a tobacco product for this purpose.

Making mention of Public Health England’s report on vaping being at least 95% safer than smoking and potentially serving as a tobacco cessation method, the TF report condemns states which apply sin taxes, stating:

“Electronic cigarettes, with their lower risk profile, are likely to have less external [medical treatment] costs associated with their use. Further, to the extent that smoking cessation is a stipulated goal of tobacco taxation, exposing vapour products, which many see as a promising cessation method, to such hefty tax rates as traditional tobacco would be counterproductive.”

The report also articulates what many of us have been thinking when discussing the reasoning for this taxation. This being that it has less to do with public health as claimed and everything to do with money, pointing out that Kansas and Louisiana “were prompted to impose vapour taxes to help close budget shortfalls; Kansas faced a deficit of nearly $600 million, while Louisiana stared down a $1.6 billion shortfall.”

Ending by saying what people outside of the anti-vaping circles are all thinking, the TF reports warns that States should avoid extending punitive taxation to vaping products as this may hinder opportunities to use them for smoking cessation. We hope the people realise that more people smoking would cost more in the long-run than what they gain with a quick tax and listen to the report’s recommendations.

Other News:

  • Vaping’s prospects in Malaysia dimmed even further, with more bans on the horizon.
  • Public Health officials in North Dakota are proposing a bill to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products, increasing tax from 28% to 56% of the wholesale purchase price. We wonder is they’ve read the TF report we’ve discussed?
  • E-cigarettes have been named as the leading growth product in the United States by TIME magazine.

 

That’s all for this week’s edition of The Week in Vaping. We hope you’ve enjoyed it. Come back next week for more vaping news.