Pennsylvania passes 40% e-cig tax; 300 vape shops face imminent closure

Pennsylvania passes 40% e-cig tax; 300 vape shops face imminent closure

Pennsylvania legislators may have just placed the final nail in the coffin of the state’s vaping industry by passing a 40% e-cig tax that threatens over 300 vape shops and small businesses.  The tax was hidden inside a $1.3 billion bailout package earmarked to resolve the state’s massive budget deficit.  It is also the largest tax increase approved during a presidential election year in the recent history.

The date in which the new regulations will take effect is still unclear, but most political insiders expect the tax increase to officially take hold is less than 90-days.  Once implemented, all retailers of electronic cigarettes and vaping products will be required to pay an immediate “floor tax” at a rate of 40% of their current inventory.  With one fell swoop, the Pennsylvania vaping industry may have just been completely wiped out overnight.


Pennsylvania 40% e-cig tax receives bi-partisan support.

The state’s budget deficit is so severe that Gov. Tom Wolf (D) had originally asked the Pennsylvania State Assembly for over double the received funds, or a whopping $2.7 billion.  Yesterday, the newly modified budget with the included 40% e-cig tax was approved by a margin of 116-75 in the House and 28-22 in the Senate.  A combination of both Democrats and moderate Republicans voted in favor.

Online retailers may face extinction, as well.

Even if vape shop owners in Pennsylvania can cough up the 40% floor tax, they will still have trouble competing with online retailers.  Why would a consumer want to pay $120 for a vape mod from a “brick and mortar” establishment when they can go online and get it for about $80 and with overnight delivery?


Meanwhile, even e-commerce sites based in Pennsylvania will be forced to pay the floor tax on all inventory.  As a result, online prices will see a significant increase, and customers will likely head to an out-of-state alternative as a resort.  Either way you look at it, vaping in Pennsylvania seems to be heading towards extermination.

Contacting Pennsylvania legislators is encouraged.

However, a last ditch effort to reach a new compromise is underway by many of the vaping advocacy groups, including SFATA and CASAA.  All members of the vaping community are encouraged to contact Pennsylvania officials to express their outrage.  If it can happen in Pennsylvania, it can happen anywhere.  Contact information can be found on the SFATA and CASAA websites.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the viewpoints, policy or company position of, the rest of our staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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Shelba Stein - May 12, 2017

Wonderful write up.Thank you for sharing it.

Chris Connelly - July 28, 2016


Warren Rodibaugh - July 20, 2016

Big Tobacco getting in the way again….VAPING is far less dangerous than cigarettes, but I guess the money offered was way too good to pass up. Nothing like political money-grubbing….

Warren Rodibaugh - July 20, 2016

Big Tobacco getting in the way again….VAPING is far less dangerous than cigarettes,

Gary painter sr - July 18, 2016

I DID NOT NOR WOULD I EVER VOTE FOR THIS "tommy wolfe idiot " you little retards that voted for this IDIOT are getting what you deserve!! Meanwhile the rest of us will suffer too!!! THANKS

CorruptionContinues - July 17, 2016

As we can see the corruption continues. There are two possibilities of why this tax passed. The most obvious one, these senators were bought off by tobacco companies, or they are really just that stupid. It’s obvious this will actually cause a loss of tax revenue for them. At the expense of the state they’ve made the decision to line their pockets rather than do their job.

These corrupt bastards, we need to do something with our bastard of a government it’s now full blown out of control. They don’t even attempt to hide their intentions as they fear no repercussions. Feel free to visit this bastard > — He voted for this tax. Tell him what a scumbag you think he is.

View which senators voted for this here

John Dolan - July 17, 2016

What phone number shall we pa residents call to argue this tax?

Kip - July 16, 2016

I would wager that this was backed by the tobacco industry as a way to get their smokers back.

Anthony bobro - July 16, 2016

fuck you and fuck ur 40% tax… this is total bullshit anytime those cocksuckers can get their little dick beaters in on something they’re gonna do it

Brook - July 15, 2016

If the state really wants to improve the deficit then pass a reasonable tax so businesses can stay alive and help with the deficit. Now these idiots will not even get the money the shops had been contributing because this will drive them out of business. So stupid. I can not believe the House and Senate voted on this and thought it was a good idea. Guess you will have to go back to the drawing board to improve the deficit. Meanwhile, shop owners and consumers will be punished and why???? This is horrible! Idiots!

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