New Jersey governor Chris Christie proposes to reduce the state’s budget through taxes on green cigarettes
Taxation for e-cigarettes and accessories is not a new concept. In fact, a chance of high percentage taxes has been a hot button topic among vapers in the years ahead. Until recently though, there has been no mention of where this tax money would go.
In an effort to help reduce New Jersey’s $1.06 billion budget shortfall, Governor Chris Christie has proposed a new tax on e-cigarettes. It is estimated that by taxing green cigarettes, New Jersey could raise $35 million dollars in annual revenue. Under Christie’s plan, this revenue would be put toward general spending.
While New Jersey State Treasurer, Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, told the Senate budget committee the motivation for the proposed tax on e-cigarettes was for public health concerns, the taxation proposal, it would seem, is less about green cigarettes (or those who use the devices) and more about finding ways to close the budget gap.
However, as of April 1, New Jersey joined other states across the nation in treating e-cigarettes as equivalent to tobacco cigarettes (i.e. restricting sales to minors and smoke-free air laws).
E-cigarette taxes are not the only revenue New Jersey brings in from a nicotine delivery system – the sate brings in considerable revenue from tobacco sales, along with and payouts from the 1998 settlement for healthcare expenses from cigarette companies—estimated to be $947.2 million this year alone.
Even though money from the settlement is applied as general revenue, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that New Jersey and other states spend more funds on tobacco cessation programs.
No state has allocated the full amount that the CDC recommends for tobacco cessation programs. In 2003, New Jersey spent roughly $30 million dollars on tobacco-related funding (leaning on the public’s efforts to quit) including counseling and nicotine-replacement therapy. This figure has dropped to about $1.6 million.
According to the CDC, cigarette smoking causes about one in five of 480,000 annual U.S. deaths. Moreover, 10,000-plus New Jerseyans die every year because of tobacco-related illness.
Find information regarding laws and regulations and general e-cig news by checking our blog and knowledge center. It is important that vapers with what’s going on with green cigarettes. We aim to provide all the information you need to make a decision.