E-Cigarette Reviews and Rankings

Washington Governor Proposes a 95% Tax Increase on E-Cigarettes

In an attempt to cover budget holes in his state budget, Washington Governor Jay Inslee has proposed a 95% tax increase on electronic cigarettes and all other vapor products.

e-cigarette-taxesObviously, Inslee’s proposal was met with criticism by local e-cigarette businesses. “A 95% tax would do a few different things,” said Kim Thompson, owner of The Vaporium shop, in Fife. “One, it would demonize a product, make it look as though it was as bad as smoking. The other thing is that it would make vaping and traditional cigarettes more similar in pricing. It would give us less incentive to the smoke to say, hey, give this a try.” Thompson added that she and other e-cigarette business owners will be encouraging their customers to call the Governor and let him know they do not approve of the proposed tax increase.

In support of Jay Inslees recent proposal, representative Reuven Calysle, who last year proposed a similar tax on vapor, says the measure is just a way of evening the playing field. “Last year, we introduced legislation to bring vaping up to the regular level of other similar products such as snuff and other things,” he said. “This is just a fairness issue. It’s a parity issue. No one is looking to single out vaping, we are just looking to bring it to the same level of taxation of other similar products.”

However, those similar products include snuff and some cigars, which are currently taxed at 95%, under Washington’s current tobacco law. The fundamental difference is electronic cigarettes do not contain any tobacco. “There’s zero tobacco in my product,” Thompson said. “Zero tobacco. We do not promote tobacco, we do not promote smoking, or anything that has cancer causing ingredients.”

Carlysle seems to care less about the cancer-inducing tobacco and more about the addictive nicotine contained in most electronic cigarettes. “It really is very important to keep in mind that this is a product that has an active ingredient of nicotine, that is addictive,” he said. Modern studies that nicotine, on its own, is no more dangerous than caffeine and other stimulants, and that it’s the tar and carbon monoxide resulted from tobacco and paper combustion that is causing the majority of health problems and deaths. If addiction was the real issue, someone should really propose a tax increase on sugar and fast food.

Thompson told King5 News that Washington lawmakers should prepare themselves for a fight on the issue as early as January 2015.

One Comment/Review

  • Douglas Hicks says:

    Professor Peter Hajek, Director of QMUL’s Tobacco Dependence Research Unit, talks about his research on e-cigarettes.

    “[e-cigs…] pose very small or maybe no health risks, they do not attract new users to nicotine so far, and they have the potential to help smokers to switch to something safer”

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