Washington’s Proposed Electronic Cigarette Megatax Up in Smoke

The Taxfather

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

In another victory by gridlock the families in the state legislature were not able to get enough muscle behind two bills that would have taxed the fledging electronic cigarette industry into vapor. The sixty day legislative session came to an end and debate on these bills did also.

The bills have been controversial from the beginning. At first a 95% tax was the target and when that effort failed there were proposals to tax the “juice” by the milliliter. One thing is stilllargely accepted, the families still want in on the tax lute and will take up the issue probably next session.

We previously discussed this issue HERE.

Somehow members of the legislature still are of the “if one child can be saved” mantra somehow translates into the need to impose a hefty tax on something. It might also be the case that the effect might literally tax smokers to death, where the tax on e-cigarettes is so high, people stay with ordinary tobacco use and suffer the known health effects of smoking that might be lessened by e-cigarettes.

This is truly going to be a litmus test on whether the legislature wants tax revenue so dearly, it is willing to allow thousands of Washington citizens to die. It would really be a sad day in Olympia when taxes are more important than the health of Washingtonians.

By Darren Smith

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

13 thoughts on “Washington’s Proposed Electronic Cigarette Megatax Up in Smoke”

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  2. That electronic nicotine vaporizers are less harmful than smoked tobacco is a reasonable hypothesis, but it still needs to be tested and should not be assumed.

    For one thing, while nicotine is not itself a carcinogen, it is a cancer promoter, that is it does not cause cancer but if cancer already exists it accelerates its growth. Studies need to be done to find out exactly how the ill effects of vaporized nicotine compare with those of smoking and tax rates need to be set to encourage consumption of the less harmful alternative.

  3. Thanks for this, Darren. I hadn’t heard the good news yet!

    AY: The ATF will not be regulating e-cigs. The FDA has submitted draft regulations to the OMB and, when approved, they will be posted in the Federal Register and open for public comment. We’ve been waiting for these regulations for over 2 years now, so it’s impossible to say when they will be issued.

    Concerning the liquids, there really are not “many dangers”. The major ingredients are propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin, and food flavorings, all of which have GRAS status, Nicotine may or may not be an ingredient. If it is, it generally is in the range of 1.0 % to 2.4%. Of course some common sense precautions should be taken, such as using child-proof bottle caps and keeping it out of the reach of children and pets.

    Here is a link to lab reports that have been performed: http://casaa.org/Lab_Reports__ecigarettes.html The website linked has lots of other good information, too.

  4. I hope this goes ON being tossed as a stupid tax. The vapor doesn’t give off second hand smoke — sickening the children of smokers (of whom I AM one with chronic asthma issues as a result) Also, vapor doesn’t lead to hot cigarette butts out car windows starting fires — a common thing here in summer. Liquid nicotine is not nearly so dangerous and the multiple chemicals and lung-tarring components of old style smokes.

    If Washington wants money, and wants to help children? Attack obesity — tax soda pop in plastic bottles (which litter our roadways) and candy bars!

  5. I think the FDA needs to regulate this….. Not the ATF…. There are many dangers with the liquid nicotine…..

  6. Any tax proposal on e-cigarettes that might chase people back to even more dangerous cigarettes is a either a stupid plan or a plan devised to merely gain additional tax revenue. Stop light cameras come to mind as another blatant revenue grab.

  7. Many people use vapor cigs, w/ NO CARCINOGENS, to get off of those killer cigs. Government tax is supposed to REWARD good behavior. The same government that embraces climate change doesn’t understand the BASIC science of vaporization.

  8. skeptic

    You’re aware the article is about a tax in the State of Washington, right? The rest of the bumper-sticker rant is so full of errors, misinformation, nonsense and outright lies it doesn’t even deserve a response. Hopefully though, venting your spleen while exposing your lack of any factual information on the news of the day made you feel better. Cheers!

  9. Oh heck, that’s nuts! The vapour cigs are better for the smoker and better for those around them. Should be comparatively no tax.

  10. To the sentence from the article above:

    “This is truly going to be a litmus test on whether the legislature wants tax revenue so dearly, it is willing to allow thousands of Washington citizens to die”.

    I ask you wasn’t that the plan? Consider the following:.

    He Taxes everything that is utilized as food or pleasure but makes sure Pot is legal and all get hooked so they will need something stronger when they no longer can get a high on marijuana. It is okay to smoke all you want of the weed of our f aux president’s choice. He taxes smokers to death and watches as the sick and elderly die off early for lack of affordable care. He has destroyed the insurance and medical system as we know it, thousands without insurance and he makes sure all the young ladies have their birth control and abortions so they can all be happy and pay no attention to his plans. It is all a part of the “dumb down” America plan.

    Obama golfs while he destroys all the businesses with regulations or taxes, strips our Military to before WWII levels, destroys our naval fleet, sells our airplanes destroys our health system, Seeks to confiscate our guns, invades our privacy via phone, computer, etc. instructs us we cannot say certain words and he lies to America, refuses to recognize the Constitution/ refuses to cut spending, and continues to run up the debt we owe. He gives money to illegals who come here, gives them health care, destroys our energy system and all the while Obama golfs while America flounders. He needs voters so he gives Obama phones, Obama money , stimulus money, subsides his choice people on the Obama care system, and the cronies that helped to elect him, pays cash for clunkers, refuses to enforce laws and takes it upon himself to illegally rewrite laws that are already on the books. Clearly an illegal action. He splits America between cultures while he rations medical attention for the seriously ill and elderly to cut down on medical costs. Yes, he really loves this country and he golfs while America cries for help We will be a shell of a country when this madman and his minions get through with us.

    Washington is merely a starting point. Obama drags his feet on signing approval for the pipeline that would provide thousands of jobs for American Citizens yet he allows millions to come over the border and take the few jobs left. Yes, he loves America dearly, so he lies and lies to the people and spends frivolously on stupid commercials to convince the young and impressionable to sign up for insurance they really don’t need, and while he golfs America sinks deeper and deeper into the mire!Wasn’t it Oprah that said something to the effect that ‘ the young can be trained but the elderly will have to die”?………….. His plan just halfway finished, what can we expect yet to come in the next 3 years? Meanwhile, Obama plays golf while America struggles! A dumbed down America asks no questions, they will be easily led and with our freedom gone, America will be no more. Who would have thunk?????? This will be our new America, And we thought Russia was bad. This, a new Hitler-esce regime is what our new King has planned for us. What next, ovens?

    Purely an opinion

  11. Mitch:

    A study was done in Washington by the state Department of Revenue in 2012. The findings were that just over 40% of a cigarettes possessed in the state were untaxed bootleg ones. Washington has the highest wholesale cigarette tax in the nation.

  12. I’ve been watching cig prices – as a non-expert observer, just a “user” of this “drug”, mind you – and it seems that the tobacco industry will make many concessions to keep their customers. Case in point: When the tax rates on cigs went up here in Ga,, suddenly “instant savings” coupons started appearing on both singular packs and cartons that effectively offset the tax hike. I guess the way I see it is that there are just those folks that are going to smoke, and, even if the taxes get to be 300% (like in some Communist countries) they will continue to find tobacco to smoke – but now through the black market, leaving the government with no revenues from the sales of tobacco. The government would be better off just letting smokers be, charging a nominal tax rate, and collecting their steady dues; at least it’s a steady revenue stream….

  13. “…where the tax on e-cigarettes is so high, people stay with ordinary tobacco use…”

    Might that be the point of the Tobacco Lobby?

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