Vermont imposed a 92% increase in tax on e-cigarettes on July 1, 2019. The bill has come into effect immediately, with the basic purpose of distancing the young adults and teenagers from this menace. The increase in prices would affect this lot of society the most who are also the most vulnerable.
The bill was sponsored by State Rep, George Till. He was confident that the bill would help control the ever-increasing number of teenagers falling for this habit. He also said that it is a known fact that this group is most affected by price variations and the manufacturing companies are going out of their way to concentrate and attract this group. This bill would help curb that, he stated.
Till also pointed out on the floor that 92% is the same tax rate as that of the already existing tax rate of snuff-smokeless tobacco. “We are trying to keep the tax across all nasty things the same,” he further emphasized.
Vermont seems to have gotten serious about curbing the tobacco and nicotine addiction in all forms as two other bills also came into effect. One elevates the age restriction from 18 to 21 for buying, selling or possessing tobacco, nicotine and all substitute products. The other bill bans unlicensed retailers and individual sellers working on the internet to sell tobacco products.
The Vermont House and especially George Till, also a physician, is convinced that these steps would help put an effective check on the spread of vaping and tobacco smoking. This is deemed necessary at least until the health effects of nicotine are better understood.
He further criticized the notion that e-cigarettes are safer. “There are many of these types of devices and it will be a long time before we ever know if they are safer.”
Finally, he also highlighted the fact that even when the financial aspect is very much there and the tax raise would help generate revenue, this is not what the government is seeking. The government looks at it as a public health bill. This is why it is even more important to ensure the implementation of this legislation.
Responding to the tax bill, however, Artisan Vapor has announced not to increase their prices, prioritizing the health of consumers.