While e-Cigarettes are coming under attack, it is CASAA that is responsible for keeping us humble vapers in the loop about what is going on across this nation of ours.
The most recent Call to Action comes for a State that is Wisconsin’s neighbor, Minnesota.
Vapers in Minnesota already have a unfair and hefty tax on e-Cigarettes. Now the Minnesota State Legislature is trying to increase those taxes.
PLEASE consider lending your voice to oppose these unfair taxes, and outrageous increase. The CASAA blog gives you a list of items to touch on, and you can easily use it for a template. I have included the email I crafted below. Feel free to use it as a guide to help you formulate your own. This will take you only a few minutes, and can easily be sent to all of the members of the House Committee on Taxes & the Senate Committee on Taxes.
Open Message to Minnesota House Committee on Taxes & the Senate Committee on Taxes:
“As a resident of a neighboring state I oppose HF 91 / SF 209 because the bills would further raise the arbitrary and counter-productive tax on products like e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and dissolveable tobacco.
My personal experience with e-cigarettes gave me freedom from tobacco 2 years ago. There are almost NO known dangers to using Nicotine. It is the burning of tobacco that endangers lives, the process of the inhalation of SMOKE and the TAR that comes with it. In the 2 years I have been an e-cigarette user on lung function has dramatically improved. It was my personal physician that recommend trying e-cigarettes, and I will be forever grateful for this life-saving advice.
The sole purpose of increasing cigarette taxes has been to cover governmental healthcare expenditure caused by smoking and to discourage smoking. Since all smoke-free tobacco products are 98-99% less hazardous than cigarettes, there is no fiscal or public health justification for such a hefty tax. Not to mention that all of that money seems to disappear in covering budgetary short-falls rather than ANY public health programs.
Most e-cigarette sales are made online, enactment of this legislation would send more e-cigarette consumers online to buy e-cigarettes. Convenience stores and brick-and-mortar stores in MN would be unable to compete against out-of-state and international online suppliers. Enacting this tax harms your local business owners, further weakening your economy.
Minnesota is the only state that taxes e-cigarettes. Bills to do so in other states have failed in committee. This equates to waste time and energy that should be applied to serious issues like the job creation within your state.
Many smokers who switch to less hazardous electronic cigarettes do so because e-cigarettes are less expensive than cigarettes. Increasing the costs of e-cigarettes to that of cigarettes would discourage many smokers from switching to e-cigarettes and could also encourage some e-cigarette consumers to go back to cigarette smoking.
In this day and and age, where the effects of smoking are well known, we have yet to see any serious decline in the number of smokers. Yet when the possibility of Tobacco Harm Reduction methods are mentioned, it seems that everyone from the FDA to local State legislation wants to stick their heads in the sand and ignore the possibility. This is short-sighted and detrimental. Tobacco Harm Reduction WORKS, and has helped thousands if not millions of people transition from Tobacco. If you truly care about the Health of your State’s population you need to make Tobacco Harm Reduction methods cost LESS than expensive than smoking. Quitting smoking is the hardest thing I have ever done, and it was the price-point of e-Cigarettes that made me take the plunge and give them a try.
Please consider introducing an amendment to modify Minnesota’s definition of “tobacco product” so that the State no longer imposes any taxes on e-cigarettes. Under current law, Minnesota’s cigarette tax is $1.23 per pack. If an e-cigarette retailer purchases a disposable e-cigarette for $4.00 at wholesale, the retailer currently pays a tax of $2.80 (70% of $4.00). Under HF 91 / SF 209, the tax would be $4.40 (70% of $4.00). What possible explanation is there to why an e-cigarette user (using a Tobacco Harm Reduction method) should pay a higher effective tax rate than cigarette smokers?
I implore you to educate yourself on Tobacco Harm Reduction.