Another proof how government misunderstand e-cigarettes’ structure and logic of work
The bill, HB 2165, aims at vapers and the vaping industry. The main thesis of the law is to mark up the price of the e-cigs and other devices for vaping. Thereby make the purchase of vape devices impossible for youth.
“Increasing the price of vapor products will decrease youth access and addiction, just as raising taxes on cigarettes to discourage youth and adult smoking decreased youth access and addiction,” the bill states in its opening pages.
The previous experience of high taxes on vaping products
A 60% tax is superfluous and will cause many small businesses in Washington closing. Even more – it will discourage smokers from trying unique e-cigs. This can lead to a decrease in interest to vaping and therefore many people can return to smoking.
Perfect example of disastrous effect of high taxation is situation of Pennsylvania State. A 40% tax on the purchase of devices and liquids from wholesalers brought the state a lot of money, but led to the closure of many stores. In October 2016, the state of Pennsylvania introduced a tax on the buy of goods from wholesalers. Owners of shops are obliged to pay 40% of the purchase price to the state treasury. Since the introduction of the tax, he brought Pennsylvania about $ 13,000,000. This led to the closure of more than one hundred state stores, when there are 400 of them. We can conclude, that vaping market came apart.
According to many popular e cig brands, in order to stay in the market, they had to lower the mark-up on the goods. In order to circumvent the tax, some establishments did not close. They turned into vape clubs instead, whose membership costs money. Thus, membership covers the lease of the site. The goods, however, are still selling, but only online.
The number of people who have relation to Vape taxes is significant
Certainly, at first sight both actions (smoking and vaping) are similar. Nevertheless, there is a huge difference in the effect on the body, mental health and the environment. Using the statistics of CDC and Euromonitor International, we estimate that there are at least 20.8 million vape users worldwide. In addition, in the United States there are currently around 9 million vapers.
The popularity of vaping has grown seriously among teenagers over the last five years. Although the legal age for buying e cigs is 18. According to CDC figures, 38% of high schoolers and even 13% of middle schoolers have tried vaping at least once. So there’s reason to think these figures are low, given that they’re based on self-reporting. Of course, “at least once” does not mean that this many teens vape on a regular basis. No doubts, that vaping carries considerably less health risk than conventional smoking. But it is likely that the popularity of the practice among the young will lead to calls for tighter regulation in the future. But the report states that “these rates are alarming because an overwhelming majority of smokers begin smoking and become addicted to nicotine as teenagers.”
In simple words, this law equated vaping to cigarettes. But legislators don’t take into account the significant difference in effect on the body. Aimed at protecting public health, safety and welfare, this law consider electronic cigarettes as harmful as conventional cigarettes are. The main harm from smoking fall on breathing, because there penetrates tobacco smoke. All inhaled substances and microorganisms settle in the tissues of the lungs, from which they are absorbed into the blood. Then they are carried throughout the body, provoking a wide range of diseases.
The impact of FDA at the Vape Taxes situation
The FDA – a food and drug administration that monitors the quality of all products entering the market.
On May 5, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration published a 499-page document on electronic cigarettes. It dealt with devices and liquids produced after 2007.
The main thesis of the document is the “freeze” of the electronic cigarette market. The regulations entered into force on August 8, 2016. At the same time, it launches two new mechanisms. First, it forbids manufacturers from releasing new devices. Secondly, the devices produced before August 8, 2016, had to be registered with the FDA. This was given 2 years – on August 8, 2018, any “illegal” products would be withdrawn from sale.
All existing electronic sigars or any modifications are the subject to verification and certification. Without the permission of the FDA, new devices cannot be sold. In addition, the vape organizations have lost the right neither to talk about the benefits of vaping nor to position them as a healthy alternative to smoking.
The situation in other States
There are, indeed, cities, which fight against electronic cigarettes. For example, Chicago (IL), where the tax on devices for e cig vaporizer and liquid is 80%. Government forbid vaping everywhere. And Minneapolis (MN), where a 95% tax was imposed on the wholesale purchase of products for vaping. Most friendly metropolises are Virginia Beach, Tucson and Phoenix. There are bans on e-vaporing in public transport, but cafes and shopping centers have autonomy to decide whether to allow or not. In Tucson and Phoenix there are no regulations of e-cigs yet.
Many vapers are already tired of the huge taxes and contemptuous looks on the streets. They hope that different studies of scientists will prove that there is nothing to worry about. Who can argue that it is not appropriate to pursue a policy that will limit the freedom of the e cig vaporizer users, while specific scientific evidence is lacking. It is also difficult to get on with thought that bigger part of the price of any vaping product is just a tax. New bill increasing in Washington State is just an example, how the government treat novelties of science, even though they have become an instant part of daily routine of many Americans.
Florence Temples is a healthy lifestyle blogger and independent journalist. She lives in Orlando (Florida) with her husband. Florence researches her friends’ and relatives’ attitude to health and write informative posts, encouraging people to give up bad habits.
Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.