Opponents of Pennsylvania’s 40 percent tax on e-cigarettes are rallying around new legislation that would repeal what vape store owners describe as the death knell of the industry.
Lawmakers and Gov. Tom Wolf avoided another protracted budget impasse this year by relying on new revenues from an expansion of gambling, reforms to the liquor system and higher taxes on smokers and the businesses that cater to their nicotine habits. That includes a 40 percent tax on the wholesale price on vaping supplies as well as a 40 percent “floor tax” on the inventory currently sitting on vape shop shelves.
Seeing through the haze of tobacco and vaping tax proposal
Proposition 56, on California’s Nov. 8 ballot, is flawed. It would impose a heavy tax on small businesses, it would kill jobs, and it would be a big step backward in accomplishing the goal of protecting the health of state residents.
POV: New FDA Regulations on Vaping Products a Failure
They do not protect public’s health, do impose a public safety hazard
On May 5, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its long-awaited regulations on electronic cigarettes and vaping products. These rules, which require every one of the more than 10,000 vaping products on the market to submit a pre–market approval application simply to stay on the market, were widely applauded by antismoking and health groups. What may not have been apparent at the time, but what I have discovered through a detailed analysis of the 499-page regulations, is that these regulations not only fail to protect the public’s health, but they impose a public safety hazard.
The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) said Monday it supports using language from Republican Rep. Tom Cole‘s H.R. 2058 bill that will change the Tobacco Control Act’s Feb. 15, 2007 grandfather date for e-cigarette products to the date of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) final rule issuance.
If the FDA’s grandfather date remains unchanged, e-cigarette companies will have to undergo the costly Pre-Market Tobacco Applications (PMTA) process for every vaping product released after Feb. 15, 2007. The FDA’s proposed rules are currently under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Reforming the FDA’s rule is of vital importance to the e-cigarette market because the cost of the PMTA process for each individual product can run between $2-10 million. Vaping businesses — which typically sell dozens if not hundreds of these products — will not be able meet this financial burden, putting thousands of jobs at risk and limiting options for vapers.
“Despite tremendous outreach in support of H.R. 2058, its’ passage is not guaranteed and because the FDA has said it lacks the legal authority to change the grandfather date, we are focusing our efforts on the Senate Appropriations Committee, urging members to consider the same language in the House’s Agriculture spending bill which funds the FDA,” says Cynthia Cabrera, president and executive director of SFATA.
“We’re asking Senate members to ‘recede’ to the House provision in final conference before any spending bills are sent to the president’s desk. The good news is that the approved House spending bill doesn’t cut the FDA’s budget, it just precludes them from using any of the funds to implement February 15, 2007 as the deeming date.” The spending bill needs to be passed by Dec. 11 to prevent a government shutdown.
The pro-vaping lobby has already gained a powerful ally in the form of Grover Norquist – president of Americans for Tax Reform. On Nov. 24, Norquist wrote a letter to members of Congress asking them to change the FDA’s grandfather date, warning that “unlike smokers, adult vapor product consumers are becoming single-issue voters who correctly attribute their switch from combustible tobacco products to smoke free alternatives like e-cigarettes to saving their lives. To crush this new and emerging industry would reverse decades of efforts to get people to quit smoking.”
A recent worldwide study in favour of vaping indicates it can help smokers kick the habit
Many countries, including the UAE, have banned electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes but a worldwide survey of 19,441 users in 2014 found it had minimal adverse effects (about 1/100th to 1/20th) compared with smoking. Those who switched to vaping from smoking reported a reduction in harmful effects, with very mild and temporary side effects.
The state Senate yesterday unanimously approved HB1186, which was one of two bills emerging from the House aimed at putting some restrictions on sales of vaping products (the other, HB1078, failed).
There are a lot of things to dislike about HB1186. While it bans sales to minors, which isn’t all that controversial, it puts in place a requirement for childproof packaging for the products. That seems unnecessary. But the big victory in passing the legislation is that we’ve avoided lumping vaping products in with traditional tobacco products for the purposes of regulation.