In a blatant cash grab, the Indiana legislature is considering a bill that would treat e-cigarettes the same as tobacco products, which would raise the wholesale tax on e-cigarettes to 24 percent as well as require strict licenses for vape shops in the state.
Why would anyone want to raise taxes on something that has been proven to help people quit smoking, and therefore disincentivize the purchase of these devices by making it prohibitively expensive? To protect the children of course. Who wouldn’t want to protect the poor innocent children from the evils of vaping? But according to TheIndyChannel, e-cigarette retailers are already prohibited from selling vapes to minors, and most vape shops won’t even allow minors into their stores.
In arguing in favor of this bill, Brianna Herndon of Tobacco Free Indiana uses a tired old argument that we’ve seen e-cigarette opponents use for a while now:
“Not only are these products appealing to youth because of the flavors and packaging, but we don’t know how they’re accessing them because we don’t know how many vape shops there are, because there aren’t any regulations.”
Yes, because no grown up would ever want to vape something that actually tastes good! They have to be targeting the kids with the cotton candy flavors! Never mind the fact that a lot of people who have switched to vaping from smoking will claim that the wide variety of flavors to choose from was a major incentive to quit smoking, considering how disgusting the flavor of cigarettes is.
Another motivation for people to quit smoking and start vaping is that it’s cheaper in the long run. By taxing vaporizers as if they were tobacco products, the Indiana legislature is actively harming the health of their citizens by eliminating an incentive to quit smoking. The health studies are still inconclusive, with some saying that vaping is perfectly safe and others claiming that there are some health risks, but I don’t think that there is a single person out there who would claim that vaping is just as bad for your health as smoking.