Election Day 2016 is finally here, and millions of vapers are heading to the polls. While the decision to vote for Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton vs. the Republican alternative Donald Trump is gaining most of the mainstream media coverage, the vaping industry has its collective eyes on several state ballots that threaten some pretty hefty tax hikes.
California Prop 56 could spell disaster for the national vaping industry.
Back in 1990, California became the first State in the Union to pass an anti-stalking law. Now we have them in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. When California decided to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, the rest of the nation immediately began jumping on the bandwagon. This year, The Golden State is trying to pass legislation that will legalize recreational marijuana (Proposition 64) and another bill that will raise the taxes on tobacco cigarettes by $2 per pack (Proposition 56).
Unfortunately, most voters…let alone vapers…are completely unaware that Prop 56 would also tax the heck out of e-cigs and vaping devices. Buried deep within the document is wording that will simultaneously implement a first-ever tax hike of perhaps 67 percent on the purchase of e-liquid or anything containing it. If Prop 56 passes, look for similar legislation in a state near you in the very near future.
Measure 4 in North Dakota wants a 400% vaping tax hike.
Some states won’t wait for California to pass a new law. One of those states in North Dakota. On the ballot during Election Day 2016 is a little-known piece of legislation entitled Measure 44. If it passes, North Dakotans can expect their tobacco taxes to skyrocket from 44 cents per pack to a whopping $2.20.
Meanwhile vaping technology, e-liquids, and e-cigarettes will experience a nearly 50 percent tax hike at the same time. The reason? People in North Dakota want to discourage children from vaping. The 400% tax hike will be the largest ever in the state’s history.
(Related Article: SBX2-5: E-CIG RETAILERS IN CALIFORNIA MUST REGISTER WITH STATE BY JANUARY 1)
One Harvard Law Professor strongly disagrees with both states’ ballot initiatives. Professor Dan Winkler recently told the New York Times that laws like these send the wrong message and can actually do more harm than good for public health.
“When (e-cigs) are regulated just like tobacco, people draw the conclusion that they are just as dangerous. You didn’t say it, but you didn’t have to. People make that assumption.”
Winkler seems to have hit the proverbial nail on the head. This false assumption by the American People is exactly what the FDA, the CDC, Big Pharma, and Big Tobacco have been striving to achieve for years now. And it seems that the message is being received loud and clear, at least in California and North Dakota.
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