California Taxes E-cigarettes, May Impact Industry

California is the seventh state to levy a tax on electronic cigarettes. The tax was part of a November 8th ballot measure and has consequences for e-cigarette usage. Tobacco usage has reached historic lows, and tax revenue derived from tobacco taxes has suffered as a result.

Taxes on electronic cigarettes is a highly-questioned trend.

Electronic cigarettes offer a potentially safer alternative to e-cigarettes, yet taxing the alternative poses the risk of causing smokers to stick to traditional forms of smoking. The law was passed along with Proposition 56, which imposes an additional $2 tax on a pack of cigarettes.

Experts fear that the e-cigarette tax may lead to a 60 percent hike in e-cig liquids and devices. “A 60% increase for e-cig liquids, devices and mods will cripple the industry” states a representative for Cloud Culture.

“If the price to vape is higher than cigarette costs, it will result in many ex-smokers abandoning e-cigarettes and moving back to the more harmful, traditional cigarette” states the representative.

State officials are in the process of creating a new tax structure on the industry.

The tax change poses a health risk in the state. Proposition 56 was voted in favor by nearly 4 million more people, but the change to e-cigarettes may make Proposition 56 a failure. Campaigns rallied support for Prop 56 stating that it will make the state healthier, but experts fear e-cigs may not be a valid alternative now.

The public health community is divided over the taxation.

A lack of scientific research into vaping is the issue. Those in support of the taxation suggest that there is no scientific consensus that vaping offers less risk or further advantages over cigarettes.

The backlash against e-cigarettes has dire consequences if further studies find vaping less harmful than smoking. Many experts believe the higher cost for e-liquids will lead to higher cigarette usage.

British researchers state that e-cigarettes are 95% healthier than traditional cigarettes. Some experts in the United States argue that the British researchers are wrong and that e-cigs are more harmful than originally stated. E-cigs produce chemicals known to cause birth defects and cancer according to some research.

Usage among 18 – 29 year old users has tripled in California. Researchers state the biggest concern is the long-term usage of nicotine. Brain development may be impacted due to nicotine consumption.

Cigarettes also contain nicotine.

The debate over the risks and advantages of e-cigarettes is fierce. The US, along with nearly 180 countries, will regulate the sale of e-cigs in accordance with a recent agreement.