Washington lawmakers are considering a bill that would could see a 60 percent tax levied on all vaping products.
Introduced in January, Bill HB 1873 has now reached the House Committee on Appropriations, a highly-powerful committee responsible for allocating federal funding.
State Rep. Gerry Pollet who proposed the ‘sin tax’ said it will eventually generate $30 million a year which will be used to fund anti-youth vaping programmes.
Pollet believes that the tax will be of little financial burden to adult vapers.
“E-cigarettes and vaping products are dirt cheap, you won’t believe how cheap they are.
“A pack of cigarettes in the state of Washington, on average, costs about a little more than $8. Vaping the same amount of nicotine will cost you about $2.”
However, Joshua Baba, owner of South Sound Vapor Lounge, fears that his shop will be under threat if the tax is implemented.
“Sixty percent, we owe that to the state just all of a sudden? That’s crazy. That does put me out of business.”
Vaping among 10 graders has risen from 10 percent in 2016 to 21 percent in 2018, according to the Washington State Healthy Youth Survey.
However, only 56 percent of this group reported vaping nicotine e-liquid.
Meanwhile, e-cigarette use among 12 graders rose from 20 percent to 30 percent over the same period.
The New England Journal of Medicine’s Adolescent Vaping and Nicotine Use in 2017-2018 study purported to show evidence of a youth vaping ‘epidemic’.
However, public health advocate Clive Bates was one of many experts to criticise the study and the FDA’s interpretation of the findings.