Since his election last November, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has been adding budget proposals to the books – one of which involves a controversial tax increase on e-cigarettes. Wolf has proposed increasing this tax in his state by 40 percent, which has angered Pennsylvanian e-cigarette users, the local vaping industry and anti-smoking organizations.
The proposal aims to increase the taxes of wholesale vaping products, cigars, loose and smokeless tobacco.
According to a survey conducted by the National Tobacco Behavior Monitor (and released during the conference for the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco), roughly 3 million people in the United States have begun using e-cigarettes or other vapor smoking products.
Bill Godshall, executive director and founder of Smokefree Pennsylvania, feels that taxing e-cigarettes at 40 percent is ridiculous considering that no other product has a tax that high. Godshall is also confused by Wolf’s desire to tax e-cigarettes but not tax any other products that contain nicotine, like nicotine gum, lozenges and patches.
In addition to taxing e-cigarettes, Wolf also wants to levy a price increase on tobacco cigarettes of $1 per pack. Godshall, however, is in favor of this increase, stating, “Cigarettes cause 99 percent of call tobacco-attributable morbidity, mortality and health care costs.” If this increase passes, Pennsylvania smokers will be paying $2.60 in taxes alone on their cigarettes.
The American Vaping Association (AVA) is also against Pennsylvania’s proposed tax. AVA president Gregory Conley feels that given the state’s smoking population (more than 2 million), it is wrong to deny these smokers a safe nicotine alternative.
In addition to vapers suffering from the tax increase, the owners and workers of Pennsylvania’s vaping retail stores will suffer because Pennsylvanians will likely start shopping across the borders or online to avoid taxation.
Of course, in the event that Wolf’s taxation proposal passes and you’re unwilling to pay the exorbitant price that your e-cigarettes will cost you, you still have the option of purchasing affordable, high quality vaping devices right here.