Some States Psyched To Tax E-Cigarettes

As Ronald Reagan once said “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” States are giving taxation and regulation a shot

(Fox News) While waiting for the debate on electronic cigarettes to heat up on Capitol Hill, several state and local governments are pressing ahead with their own agendas for taxing and regulating the popular battery-powered smoking alternatives.

Right now, there is no uniform national approach to regulating the vapor-based e-cigarettes. They are mostly free from federal rules and typically are subject only to state sales taxes.

But lawmakers in more than two dozen cash-strapped states are racing to regulate them as a new source of revenue. For some, this means tacking on an excise tax — which is a fee on a specific product, and often dubbed a “sin tax” when applied to socially shunned products like cigarettes.

Minnesota has a 95% tax on to the wholesale cost. Resellers can only purchase from state licensed vendors. So, only Government Approved, which restricts product.

In his 2015 budget proposal last month, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pitched a plan to hike taxes on electronic cigarettes to match the rate of regular cigarettes — about $2.70 per pack.

Another shot against Christie.

But to some, like New Jersey Democratic Assemblyman Dan Benson, taxing e-cigarettes is not only a fiscal responsibility but also sends an important message to would-be smokers.

“If e-cigarettes are taxed less than regular cigarettes, we’re sending a message out there that they’re somehow safer, and I think the jury is out on that,” he recently told a New Jersey radio station.

So, since the jury is out, let’s tax the hell out of them instead of finding out first.

Utah, North Dakota and the District of Columbia have included e-cigarettes as part of their indoor-smoking bans, setting up the argument that the vapor sticks should be regulated like other tobacco products in the state. Wyoming, Tennessee, New York and Colorado are among nine other states that have already dumped e-cigarettes into the tobacco product category.

Certainly, use e-cigs is not as good as simply not smoking at all, but seems to be much better than smoking tobacco, and can certainly help some people quit, or at least cut down tremendously (I’m down to 5-6 real ones a day, having been a pack a day for a long time). Government sees something that is moving, so, they have to regulate the heck out of it and slap on big taxes. This harms small businesses. Not that Government cares. They’re addicted to revenue.

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9 Responses to “Some States Psyched To Tax E-Cigarettes”

  1. o0nighthawk0o says:

    This is just an excuse to get more money from the masses. By this logic, they should also be taxing the hell out of nicotine gum and patches too.

    Just like AR-15s, e-cigs look scary so they must be bad and as such should be taxed/regulated/banned.

    We recently had our annual health insurance meeting and it came out that switching to e-cigarettes does not matter and you will still be considered a tobacco user. This is the same insurance that will pay for quitting aides such as patches, gum and counseling though studies have shown that people who use e-cigarettes have a higher quitting success rate.

  2. Blick says:

    Mr. NightHawk, well said. Gov-mint at all levels are so deep in debt that taxes are all that counts anymore. Social planning, infrastructure development, business development are all out the window. As the old hillbilly said, “Its all revenooing and regulatin'”

  3. Stosh says:

    It’s about the money. The more people use PVs – personal vaporizers (e-cigs) the fewer smoke. They are losing the cig taxes, and the last thing they want is less money to spend buying votes. The heck with people’s health concerns.

  4. Jeffery says:

    Pirate,

    You really think governments are overstepping their bounds by considering regulations on a device used for administering the drug nicotine into lungs? How about a regulation on the age at which your children can use them? Would that be OK?

    Wouldn’t it be prudent to regulate now and understand if the e-cigs are a smoking cessation device or are recruiting kids into smoking?

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  6. gitarcarver says:

    Jeffery,

    You really think governments are overstepping their bounds by considering regulations on a device used for administering the drug nicotine into lungs?

    Yes. Absent of any facts or scientific data to show harm to others, the state has not interest in the matter.

    Wouldn’t it be prudent to regulate now and understand if the e-cigs are a smoking cessation device or are recruiting kids into smoking?

    No. This is where you are showing how much you hate freedom.

    There is no evidence that the cigarettes cause kids to smoke. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

    There is no evidence that the e-cigs cause anyone any harm at all.

    So you believe that absent of any study or facts, the government should be able to regulate anything they want.

    You really hate people making their own choices, don’t you? You always talk about how you aren’t pushing your beliefs on people or how you don’t want your beliefs pushed on people and yet once again, here you are supporting that very thing and being a hypocrite.

    Oh, and by the way, Al Gore and you are still hypocrites in the AGW debate and your unwillingness of you, Gore and people of your ilk to change your lifestyle shows that your talk about AGW is bluster and that you don’t actually believe what you type.

    Actions speak louder than words Jeffery.

  7. Jeffery says:

    Teach,

    I’m always amazed at the ignorance of the far-right when it comes to running a business. Probably from a lack of experience. It’s as if rightists have never even heard of a business license.

    Running a business is a privilege. Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate commerce.

    Reactionary rightists may desire that governments have no responsibility for regulating businesses but it’s a radical ideology.

  8. gitarcarver says:

    Jeffery,

    I am always amazed at the ignorance of liberals when it comes to freedom.

    Section 8 of the Constitution does not give Congress the right to regulate all commerce. Congress can regulate interstate commerce. Even then, Congress must show a “compelling interest” in the regulation. That is a long standing principle in common law that goes back before the country was even founded.

    Lacking a compelling interest, the government must stay out of the way. Therefore without facts or science and absent of harm to others, the government has no compelling interest at all.

    In fact, the regulation on not selling tobacco products to minors was based on the government showing that there was a harm. The government contended that because of the harm, under the “general welfare” clause of the Constitution, they had the right to regulate. Absent of harm or a compelling interest, the government has to stay away.

    BTW – isn’t it interesting that Jeffery believes that the Federal Constitution’s commerce clause covers intrastate commerce?

    It is almost sad how ignorant one person can be.

    Reactionary rightists may desire that governments have no responsibility for regulating businesses but it’s a radical ideology.

    Controlling leftists may contend that the government can control all aspects of a person’s life, but they would be wrong.

    Oh, and by the way Jeffery, Al Gore and you are still hypocrites in the AGW debate and your unwillingness of you, Gore and people of your ilk to change your lifestyle shows that your talk about AGW is bluster and that you don’t actually believe what you type.

    Actions speak louder than words Jeffery.

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