UPDATE: Pennsylvania Vapor Tax Is Worse Than We Thought

The state is also going after vapers, and penalties could include prison

Hands Behind Bars

Five years in prison?

It sounds like a bad joke, but it’s all too real. Pennsylvania vapers could go to prison for buying vapor products online and not paying a 40 percent tax on them. “The penalties for evading the tax include up to a $5,000 fine, or prison time not to exceed five years,” Alex Clark of CASAA told me in an e-mail. You read that right: you could go to jail for buying e-liquid online and not sending a check to the state of Pennsylvania.

It’s even illegal to merely possess products bought in another state. Section 1207-A(a) of the law criminalizes the ownership of any vape device or e-liquid that wasn’t bought from a licensed Pennsylvania seller. So if you buy a mod on a trip to New Jersey or Ohio, merely having it in your possession will make you a criminal after October 1. As bad as the law seemed in our original article, it keeps getting worse.

You thought you found a way to quit smoking? Sorry, pay up or possibly go to prison.

Vapers who buy online are now importers

“The bill defines consumers as “unclassified importers’,” says Clark, who has taken a thorough look at the 257-page budget bill. That means that individuals who purchase any vapor product, including e-liquid, from a vendor that hasn’t already paid the tax would be responsible to pay the state, based on retail price.

In other words, anyone purchasing online or out of state would be responsible for paying 40 percent of the amount spent to the state of Pennsylvania.

Buyers will be required to file reports and make payments monthly — just like vape shops will have to do. So not only will shops be punished with a 40 percent tax on the cost of their merchandise, so will consumers.

Online sellers outside of Pennsylvania may choose to avoid complications and refuse to sell to Pennsylvania residents. And many PA businesses may opt to relocate — or close their operations altogether.

The floor tax clarified

Pennsylvania State Capitol

One of the most alarming aspects of this law is the “floor tax” it requires vendors to pay on existing stock. Not only will they have to pay 40 percent of wholesale cost on products purchased from distributors and manufacturers after the law goes into effect, they will have to pay the same amount on all existing inventory. The common understanding was that the tax would be due immediately.

The effective date of the tax, according to CASAA, is October 1, 2016. The floor tax is assessed on retailers’ onhand stock on that day. However, stores will then have 90 days to make the payment. The three-month grace period may allow some shop owners to find a way to afford it — although many may be unable to. However the tax is collected, the fact is that small businesses will be forced to hand the state cash amounting to 40 percent of the value of all merchandise in their stores, or shut their doors.

Additionally, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers must obtain licenses from the state in order to sell products in Pennsylvania. And retailers must purchase products from licensed distributors or wholesalers.

What can we do now?

Get Involved

It’s hard to imagine a law that directly attacks vapers more brutally than this one. If you’re reading this, you should be telling everyone you know. If you live in Pennsylvania, you should be writing your state legislator, senator and governor. CASAA has just issued a call to action, and their site will automatically direct residents’ messages to the correct legislators.

Tell them what vaping has done for you, and for the other vapers you know. Tell them you’re bitterly disappointed that your state did this, punishing people who have done nothing but find a way to quit smoking.

If you aren’t a CASAA member, please join right now. It’s free to join (though everyone should consider donating too), and every additional member makes the organization more impressive in the eyes of legislators and regulators.

If you’re not from Pennsylvania, explain to the vapers in your area that this can happen where they live too. Pennsylvania is the fifth largest state in the country. Other states will watch this and take cues from the public reaction. If vapers don’t get serious, get active, and fight back, they’ll assume we don’t care. We have to make it clear that we care.

Jim McDonald

I spend most of my time studying the regulatory, legislative and scientific challenges to vaping, advocating for our right to exist, and talking with others who do the same. Consider me a source for information, and feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say. I love good coffee and sweet Michigan cherries. My childhood hero was Gordie Howe.

  • freddyneverdie

    I thought Indiana was the worst but now this is by far. Its just so sickening how our corrupt government and legislatures are treating vapers as if their heroin addicts. Since we found a way to quit smoking before the government did they dont want nothing to do with it or anything about it. They just want to tax it like they do everything else and then throw people in jail like criminals if they buy from out of state. God forbid if the state doesnt get their cut then no one can. Pretty soon their going to legalize heroin so they can tax that and make millions off of addicts which is exactly what their doing now! All I can say is Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf DOES NOT care about his states residents or the public health as much as he cares about money and I hope you burn in hell Tom Wolf for all the peoples lives your ruining by making them go back to cigarettes better known as your money ticket.

  • Cara McGowan

    This is complete crap there is no way they can back tax you on items you purchased prior to this law going into effect. Seriously how are they gonna police this if you pay with cash in another state they have no paper trail to tie it back to you also prepaid visas work great with no paper trail so there is always a way around the system.

    • They can order credit card purchase histories. That’s what they did for “cigarette tax evaders” and it was allowed. There were stories of people getting this with literally tens of thousands of dollars in back taxes and fines. And if they didn’t pay? Wellll… if you have a bank account or own a home they can slap a lien on it and take it from you. Heh, and if you try to stop them? Sorry: they got bigger guns than you have.

      Think I’m exaggerating? Check out https://web.archive.org/web/20121007140427/http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/services/services_fraud_cigarettes.shtml

      – MJM

      • gotsteam

        What about money orders or personal checks or good ol’ cash sent certified? Gift card transactions? Google wallet? How intrusive can state government get when it comes to your money and what you do with it? Hell, pay in silver bullion. Invent vapecoin maybe..

        • Hey, any and all might be possible from the customer’s end, but I doubt the IRS would look kindly upon a company that had lots of slop about cash and suchlike in its bookkeeping for “special” high-tax items. And delivery can be tough with drug-sniffing dogs and package inspections etc. If I lived in Virginia I’d be pretty hesitant about mailing cartons of cheap cigarettes up to friends in NYC: I don’t know what kind of checking and to what extent they’ve got in place for that sort of thing, but I don’t think I’m just being paranoid. Dunno though… maybe I am.

          – MJM

      • Robert Anderson

        In the county I live in Clarion, when they first started doing this years ago they posted people who did not pay the tax on cigarettes because they would go to New York just across the boarder from Bradford to a Indian reservation and buy them or buy them online, one lady and I am not kidding you owed over 48,000 dollars. I am wondering how much damn cigarettes did this lady buy?

        • jody

          Awesome!!! Thank you for that information!!!

        • If the taxes ran $25/carton (I’m not sure what Indian reservations do with Federal and MSA $ … the total might be higher.) and the woman and her husband and one grown kid each smoked a carton a week (a bit heavy for today, but less than a pack and a half per day — a quantity that used to be considered borderline between moderate and heavy) then that would be $75 per week in taxes. That would be $3,750/year. If she’d done that for 10 years, that would be $37,500, plus possible penalties… particularly if the family was poor enough that they didn’t have $40,000 sitting in a bank account and began accruing further penalties and interest. Even if the three of them smoked just two cartons a week, they’d probably hit $40,000 with penalties and interest.

          Willful failure to pay taxes and tax evasion could well merit prison time in and of itself, particularly if she happened to pick up cartons for the invalid neighbor next door as well (which might make her a Drug Trafficker under the PACT Act) Heck, they might be able to hit her under the same RICO act they aimed at Big Tobacco: Racketeering.

          Of course all that’s pure speculation: I have no idea what her particular circumstances were, but I *DO* remember reading some pretty sad stories along similar lines several years ago.

          – MJM

      • Jim McDonald

        That happened to me. The state of Michigan billed me for taxes on cigarettes bought from overseas.

      • jody

        They tried doing something like that with eBay purchases. It would be too costly and time consuming to try and get every person who purchased items online to comply. I don’t believe this will work.
        There are way too many ways to get around this.

        • Ebay is tough because there are literally millions of “vendors.” plus there’s a difference between sales tax and excise tax. With cigarettes and vaping the number of vendors would be a lot smaller and thus the money and regulation more concentrated. Yes, I’m sure there’ll be some trade bleeding around the edges, but not a whole lot more than we see today with cigarettes. Plus you’re likely to see the feds make the smart move on vaping and grab the money pot from the start rather that letting the states dominate it. It wasn’t until Obama levied “The Tax That Is Not A Tax” (See bit.ly/SCHIPtax for a quickie vid on how Obama dealt with the new “vermin” class in America.) that the Feds got really serious about grabbing their share of the tobacco pie by parading The Sick Children out on stage.

          – MJM

  • gotsteam

    “While all retailers must collect taxes on sales in a state where they have a physical presence, the Supreme Court has held that it would be a burden on interstate commerce to force retailers to collect and remit taxes for sales in states where they are not located.”

    What this means is the state of Pennsylvania can NOT tax shit if the e-liquid manufacturer or “mod” manufacturer isn’t located within the state or if the retailer does not have a physical presence or “nexus” within the state. It’s called the commerce clause and Pennsylvania is not exempt from it. State law can not trump Federal law and Pennsylvania can fuck off.

    The interstate commerce clause of the Constitution bars any state from compelling an out-of-state retailer from collecting taxes on sales to its residents.

    Who is running that state, the Mafia?

    • “Who is running that state, the Mafia?” Yep. They’re called “Tobacco Control.”

    • Jim McDonald

      I don’t disagree. But someone will have to go to court to challenge it.

      • gotsteam

        Sorry, I don’t usually swear Jim..

    • Laurie Carlson

      Michigan tried to enact a law very similar to this law with traditional tobacco cigarettes, and STILL say they do it. I have no clue HOW they do it??? It’s a scare tactic to make us NOT purchase traditional tobacco cigarettes online. (We were going online and purchasing cartons of cigarettes from other states so they tried to stop it.) They claimed they would tax us 200% tax on top of the cost of the Michigan tax. One carton could end up costing us over something like $200. None of us fought the law and just paid it – however, THIS ONE CANNOT BE LEFT ALONE! THIS MUST BE FOUGHT!!! If PA got away with this then EVERY state will try to do this to wipe out Vaping! And ALL we want to do is to quit smoking with vaping . . . . ??? I don’t understand!!!!!

    • jody

      Awesome, thank you for that information!!

    • Jack Thomas

      Here’s what you’re missing: the state doesn’t require the tax be collected and paid by the out-of-state retailer who sells it, but by the consumer who buys it. The law is crafted so that it might be legal. I’m an accountant, not a lawyer, but I do know there is case law where the Supreme Court has held that a tax must be used to raise revenue, not as a prohibition. That’s the only possible legal challenge I can see here, and I’m not even sure if the case law applies to a tax enacted within a state.

      • “the state doesn’t require the tax be collected and paid by the out-of-state retailer who sells it, but by the consumer who buys it.”

        Ahhh! Very much like the MSA on cigarettes then I believe!

        • Jack Thomas

          Yep. I don’t live in PA, but my parent company is there. It’s awful for some friends at HQ.

          • Jack, can you expand on that a bit? Awful how?

          • Jack Thomas

            Two friends buy most of their juice from the same shop, and they said it’s closing. They’re honestly debating on whether they can buy enough juice to wean themselves completely off vaping before the tax takes effect. I’m probably being overly dramatic, but they are looking at the possibility of returning to cigarettes.

          • Jim McDonald

            I don’t believe every store will close. But I hope current vapers will learn to DIY. It’s not extremely hard.

          • Beth K

            There are a lot of shops I know of that have done really well that have closed their doors completely because of this. I just want to know if people will be charged the 40% on stuff they purchased before Oct 1, 2016? Do they realize how many people will go back to smoking? I am considering it. It has helped me and alot of people I know stop chewing and smoking. This isn’t right to do this? It’s helping people stop smoking.

          • Jim McDonald

            Please contact your state legislator. And please don’t go back to smoking!

      • gotsteam

        Glad you cleared that up for me.. So it then becomes a “purchase” tax.. But how can the buyer also be the seller? Seems to me a “sales” tax would place the burden or responsibility of collecting the tax on the vendor, wouldn’t you agree?

        I wonder if Pennsylvania will seek additional taxes from Vick’s Vaporub if only used on room vaporizers that contain children with chest congestion.

        Let’s not split hairs here either, the “vapor” tax is based on the purchase price which involves a sale making it a sales tax, pure and simple.

        • Jim McDonald

          No, there is a sales tax *too*. This doesn’t replace the sales tax; it’s in addition to it.

          • Will the vapor tax then be subjected to the sales tax? I.E. will the cash register add in the vape tax to the price that the sales tax is computed on? I think that’s generally the way it’s done to smokers, so I’m guessing it’ll happen here too. ?

          • Jim McDonald

            Well, the tax isn’t added to the sale. It’s charged to the retailer by the wholesaler. The assumption is that retailers will have to increase prices to afford the wholesale tax. But consumers don’t pay it directly, when they’re buying from a Pennsylvania business.

          • OK… I think I see what you mean. It’s not all that different from the MSA then except that it’s been legislated and is actually a legal tax. But if it ends up just being added into the ultimate sales price, then indeed it would be a tax that was then taxed by the sales tax!

        • Sales taxes are taxes paid by everyone on every product as a broad general rule with some exceptions. Excise taxes are levied upon a specific product areas (e.g. tobacco, alcohol). The MSA was a unique and special case as far as I’m aware: singling out a particular subclass of consumer for taxation without ever having a tax actually passed by any representatives or legislature.

          The vaping tax would actually have a stronger legal basis than the MSA tax since it’s actually legislated. It’s more of a specialized excise tax. Yes, it’s specifically a tax on a minority group, but we’ve accepted that sort of thing already with smokers and, to a lesser extent and through a Constitutional Amendment, with drinkers.

          Once you accept that sort of treatment for one unpopular minority, you’ve opened the door to applying it to any other unpopular minority if the robber-barons of the government need money and if the minority is isolated and unpopular enough that they can get away with it.


        • Jack Thomas

          No sir, actually the tax specifically singles out purchasers. It threatens felony jail time and fines. You are specifically classified as an importer under this law.

    • PA has been doing this with cigarettes for years (taxing the purchaser on goods purchased elsewhere). If you purchase cigarettes out of state, you are required to fill out a “CONSUMER CIGARETTE USE/EXCISE TAX RETURN” (http://www.revenue.pa.gov/FormsandPublications/FormsforBusinesses/Documents/Cigarette%20Tax/rev-793.pdf), and pay the amount of tax calculated by filling out the form. I don’t know of anyone who does/has done this or of anyone being fined or imprisoned for not doing it, but it has been state law since November 1, 2009. I do not smoke, but I started vaping about a year ago (a mix of PG, Ionized water and nicotine). If vaping becomes ridiculously expensive (like smoking did), I will stop vaping. I quit smoking in 2004 when cigarettes cost more than I was willing to pay (about $2/pack). I like nicotine, but I will not be extorted in order to enjoy it. Sadly, it’s really not about making people stop smoking or vaping, it’s about stealing money from you. The lawmakers know that most people will keep doing it no matter what it costs. The current situation with cigarettes is proof of that.

      • I’m sure your perceptions/feelings are held by a LOT of people. That’s why you see such an acceptance of the black market by people who are otherwise quite strictly law-abiding.

        Over-taxation of a targeted minority group leads to crime and to a general softening of the bonds that create a functioning society.

        The Antismokers don’t care. They never have. And they’re now taking the same tricks and techniques they used against smokers and using them against vapers.

        – MJM

        • Jim McDonald

          Well put. Thus the “war on smoking” becomes a war on nicotine. Which is a silly idea, but effective if the general population can be sufficiently worried about the risks of nicotine.

      • esmoker

        I got nabbed 10 years ago. I was buying cigs online from an Indian reservation in NY. After a couple years, the PA dept of Revenue sent me a notice that I owe them $2500 in sales tax and fines. I guess they made the retailer give up their sales records. I paid it, but I wasn’t happy about it.

    • esmoker

      Actually, you might be joking, but PA govt is, in fact, run by a mafia and engage in drug smuggling and human and child trafficking.

      • Jim McDonald

        Exactly the same thing happened to me, but in Michigan.

      • gotsteam

        I wouldn’t doubt it ES..

  • Matthew Grover

    Wow, this is absolutely sickening. Thea’s legislatures should be ashamed of theirselves. Now that people (vapors) found a better helthier way to live these people want to tax the crap out of them so they get there pice of the pie… Disgusting to say the least..

  • The prison threat shouldn’t be a surprise actually. Nobody uttered a peep when it was enacted against smokers after all. I’ve never been able to figure out how to actually get a count of the number of smokers in prison at the moment for smoking-related infractions, but I’d estimate it’s at least up in the triple digits by now. I’m guessing we’ll soon see the number swell with vapers.

    Remember that virtually all Antivapers are simply Antismokers dressed up in new clothing, still out there sucking at the teats of antismoking grant money. If you look at California and Stanton Glantz et alia efforts for a $2 tax increase on cigarettes in November with the money targeted toward “Tobacco Control” you can see that things will only get worse unless they’re fought, and fought really hard.

    The lies being told about vaping — the exaggerated threats and hyperbolic hand-wringing about “deadly chemicals” and “alarming use by children” and “candy flavors to hook a new generation” and “secondhand vapor” — these are all just antismoking lies recycled and repurposed. If you’re going to fight them you need to study the tricks and techniques they’ve developed over the last twenty years and learn the lessons that smokers usually learned too late in how to fight them.

    You’re luckier than the smokers in that you have a respectable financial base in vendors that can help you organize without the taint of “Big Tobacco” casting its shadow, but you’re still up against the same 500 million dollar a year Tobacco Control industry (and that figure is *just* what comes from the MSA — it’s likely doubled or tripled by Big Pharma, Big Charity, and general antismoking tax contributions).

    Learn from history and expose the deceptions and don’t make the mistake of throwing the smokers under the bus when ban votes come up: just look at what happened to the vapers in New Orleans last year. Read “The Lies Behind The Smoking Bans” (freely available at http://bit.ly/SmokingBanLies ) and download/print/share it for starters. Learn from history or be doomed to repeat it.

    – MJM

  • Cdg

    This Article is Hogwash. Not a reliable source obviously. You are not helping the Vape community by spreading lies.

    • Jim McDonald

      What lies are you referring to?

    • Annoyed

      yeah, this article is a lie and BS. There is no way they can find out if vapers are going to adjacent states (MD, WV, OH, NJ, DE) to get juices or their online activities……

      • Annoyed, they park unmarked cars outside cigarette outlets in low tax states to follow them back and make a bust in high tax ones, so they can do the same with vape shops. And if you think they can’t control online ordering, just wait’ll they pull in “The Children.” With cigarettes they claimed children all over the country were picking up a nicotine addiction by getting credit cards and then ordering cartons at a time. So they passed the PACT (Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking) Act and if you check
        you’ll see the sort of restrictions that can be imposed.

        As I said above: these are the SAME people, with many of the SAME motivations who’ve been persecuting smokers while everyone stood by and ignored it. See http://www.sott.net/article/128768-Recognising+Anti-Smoking+Types and you’ll begin to see just what you’re dealing with.

        – MJM

        • Chris Milam

          Michael, you haven’t written a single coherent word. How anyone would take you seriously is beyond me. The jails will not be filled with vapers. The tax is unjust, obviously, but everyone should chill, they taxed more than vape products. And they have no way to know where we buy our juice and whatnot. And it’s silly to say they’ll check credit card receipts. Frankly, I’m a bit embarrassed by the vape community. People mock us because of cloud chasing and juvenile behavior online. I vape, but I don’t like the way Grim Green, Ruby Roo and others use exaggerated memes and whatnot to instill fear and outrage. Plus they just want u to buy their juice. And writing a Congressman does nothing. We need a powerful lobbyist, nothing more.

          • “Michael, you haven’t written a single coherent word. How anyone would take you seriously is beyond me…. they have no way to know where we buy our juice and whatnot. And it’s silly to say they’ll check credit card receipts. ”

            Those who read coherently might better understand coherent writing Chris. Silly? You appear to have missed this:


            Perhaps you should ask the people who got hit with those back tax billings if they thought the idea was silly.

            Oh, and paying out money for a “powerful lobbyist” is the last kind of game you want to play. The Tobacco Control folks you’re up against get five hundred million dollars a year JUST from the MSA “smokers’ tax.” And they probably get the equivalent of double that from Big Pharma, Big Charity, and non-MSA smoking targeted taxation.

            Do you think the vaping community can buy a billion and a half dollars worth of lobbying power?

            – MJM

          • Chris Milam

            Yeah, still being incoherent. I have no solutions. A lobbyist or someone powerful whose opinion matters I suppose. But the vaping world will never be some utopia where there’s no taxes, no regulations, and we can vape on planes and blow clouds in folks faces.That’s just silly. What we can do is be more respectful of non-vapers rights. Don’t invade their space with monster clouds. And be more mature in how we respond online when things don’t go our way. Name calling won’t solve anything.

          • I most certainly never called for *no* taxes or regulations, but there’s an enormous difference between normal taxation and safety/quality regulations and punitive, extortionate, and intentionally harmful taxation and regulation. (When I say harmful, I mean harmful to small industry and entrepreneurs.)

            As for vaping in planes, true, I see no reason why the government should forbid airlines from offering flights where vaping was allowed unless some unforeseen safety problem cropped up. Why would you feel such a thing would/should only be available in a “utopia”? And the imagery of “blowing smoke/vapor in faces” is an Antismoking invention/meme that’s specifically intended to distort reality and thought in a negative fashion toward smokers and vapers. I don’t think there are too many smokers who deliberately (or even frequently accidentally) behave that way, and “cloud-chasing” is most certainly not the usual behavior pattern for vapers outside of vaping events.

            In terms of name-calling… aside from some calling others “incoherent” I don’t think I’ve seen much of it here. Want to see some REAL name-calling? Check out the Wall Of Hate condensed from a four page section on Hate in my TobakkoNacht:


            (Note the magnifier at the bottom of the page for readability. And there’s a differently formatted version at


            people are welcome to download and print posters from either one.)

            – MJM

          • Jim McDonald

            I understand what you’re saying, BUT…whether a single vaper goes to jail or not, this state has passed a law that provides that potential punishment for possessing a legal product. That has to be spoken about. What good comes from ignoring it?

          • Chris Milam

            Fair enough.

  • Anony Mouse

    Make your own vape juice. Soak equal parts Tobacco and Vegetable Glycerine for 30 days. Strain & Voila!

    • Asylumsix

      I would but I’ll never give another dime to the tobacco industry, plus that stuff is full of herbicides, fungicides and pesticides… Tasty stuff isn’t it?

  • Asylumsix

    Oh you’re just trying to quit smoking and save money are you? Well how about this you’re going to jail instead….

    But hey if you want to kill yourself with cigarettes go ahead we want you do die….

    This is an attack not on vapor products this is an attack on people looking for a way out of tobacco..

    When you really think about it, are there these taxes on things like Pipes, Rolling papers, hookas and other smoking paraphernalia? No there is only tax on the tobacco itself, as bad as it is I could see tax on just the juice working, even if it is 40% (which yes is still insane) but what they are doing is killing an industry and putting people in jail that just want to help people quit smoking……

    • ” what they are doing is killing an industry and putting people in jail that just want to help people quit smoking..”

      Killing the industry is the intent. And if 40% doesn’t do it, they will, eventually, bring it up to cigarette levels of 200 to 500%. And the people going to jail will be cast as “an unintended consequence” for people who are stealing money from good Americans and their Children by avoiding the taxes.

      Someone else on this thread mentioned taxation without representation. The government found a way around that for smokers: the Master Settlement Agreement: basically a tax per pack to be collected by the tobacco companies and paid to the government. The government at that time was not legally able to charge such an “exorbitant” amount of tax on cigarettes (Fifty cents a pack back in 1998 was viewed as clearly extortionate and punitive taxation of a minority, and Congress refused to vote for it for fear of losing their seats. By tasking the tobacco companies as collectors and/or posing it as a “user fee” rather than a tax, they were able to get around that annoying Constitution thing… after all, they’d already ignored the No Compact clause in gathering the Attorney Generals together to attack a private industry.)

      So, adding hundreds of percent of tax or user fees or judgments or regulatory costs onto vaping products to form a “Level Playing Field” with cigarettes won’t make the Antismokers/Antivapers so much as hiccup.



      • Asylumsix

        We can pretty much kiss the premium juice market goodbye and the price for cheap bathtub brews will be the price of premium :X

        • Sadly yes. It’s standard conditioning theory for lab rats: increase the pain (in this case, the $ cost) and decrease the pleasure (ban menthol and “kids’ candy flavors”) or do both (increase bans: the pain goes up when you make the smokers/vapers go outside in the heat/cold/sleet, and the pleasure goes down when they can’t smoke/vape while doing whatever they were comfortably doing).

          Normally there might be objections to treating people like rats, but in this case they’ve already gotten “permission” to do it with smokers — so all they have to do is keep identifying vaping with smoking in the public eye and they’re home free while also keeping the two groups from working together.

          And every single one of the antismoking subgroups described in “Brains” (See that SOTT article: https://www.sott.net/article/128768-Recognising+Anti-Smoking+Types ) will end up happy.

          – MJM

      • jody

        Totally agree MJM!!

  • jody

    Anybody think we aren’t beginning to be a third world country??? Are they going to let murderers out of jail because it will be overcrowded by vapers?? This is so ridiculous!! I hope you remember who signed these bills/laws at the polls!!

    • frank roberts

      you guys are screwed! one of this day you guys will go back to smoking cigarettes. we here in the third world country still vapes :p

      • jody

        I will never have to go back to smoking. They can not stop us from making our own liquids and building our own coils. The only people screwed are the ones that have no interest in making their own stuff. Even then, there will be a huge black market to get supplies. Our vaping community is very strong and committed to helping other vapers out!! We are very resourceful. 🙂

        • Jody, how would one go about making an e-liquid though? I’m guessing you mean by growing tobacco plants and somehow extracting the nicotine if you wanted nicotine in the juice? Or otherwise, just get propylene or vegetable glycol from somewhere (pharmacies? elsewhere? Could the gvt limit their distribution the way it limit ethyl alcohol?) and add flavorings?

          • jody

            Seeing as everything that goes into e-liquids is food grade, they can’t ban that. Right now it’s not illegal to buy Nicotine in liquid form. Purchase the nicotine and store it in your freezer. It has a 5 year shelf life.
            There are many videos that walk you through the steps of how to mix it. If they abolish videos, us vapers know other vapers that will walk us through it.
            Vaping is NEVER going away for the majority of us, no matter what the government says!!!!!
            I guess they should have taxed this at a rate that everybody was happy with and everybody could’ve walked away happy!!! But nope, the FDA, Big tobacco and Big Pharma started spreading lies after lies to get vaping banned that now the States are making it near impossible for most Vape shops to comply so they have to shut down!! Putting billions of people’s lives in danger again!!!
            I feel this is NOT the “Land of the Free” anymore. It’s disgusting that our government turns a blind eye when it has been scientifically proven to be AT LEAST 95% safer than traditional cigarettes!!! That is so scary to me that they prefer letting people kill themselves by smoking combustible cigarettes ( people die every day due to smoke related illnesses) than saving lives ( not one death related to vaping) because they are GREEDY!!!!!

  • your government would rather see you dead than lose a buck in taxes. they make alcohol producers add poison to any untaxed alcohol that right there should tell you something.

    • jody

      They don’t add poison to our alcohol…..lol…..They make damn sure that it is highly taxed. If your making your own moonshine, the government has no way of adding poison to somebody’s personal stash!

      • as someone descended from a long line of moonshiners i can tell you making your own is illegal. And the alcohol you buy at the hardware store would be fine to drink if the government did not mandate they add poisonous chemicals to it.

        • jody

          Ehv45, I don’t understand what your talking about. We don’t buy our alcohol beverages at a hardware store. The alcohol that is for human consumption does not have poison put in it. Yes, moonshine is illegal in the US…….

          • jody the alcohol that they pay federal taxes on for consumption they add no chemicals to — alcohol for other uses the feds require them to have harmful chemicals too –otherwise no one would pay the government taxes. ERGO= they would rather poison the citizens than loose tax revenue.

          • jody

            Ok, I understand what your saying now. Thank you for clearing that up.

        • I think there may be some confusion here. There is ethyl alcohol, which makes for pleasant cocktails, and there is denatured alcohol with has methyl &/or isopropyl alcohol mixed in, sometimes with other nasty tasting chems, to make it undrinkable (and poisonous) so people will pay their taxes properly while still having access to cheap alcohol for medical and industrial purposes.

          See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denatured_alcohol

          I’m not sure if it’s totally clear what role the government played in promoting the denaturing of alcohol during Prohibition as a deliberate deterrent to drinking and what role the mob played in simply passing off cheap booze “fortified” with a denatured component for a profit. In any event, people DID get “blind drunk” (or dead) and stayed that way even after sobering up.

          There’s a fascinating movie made just before the end of Prohibition that kind of showed both sides of the argument — very unusual in any social movement and *particularly* so back then! — titled “The Wet Parade.” I believe it’s available for free here on the net, and it’s well-worth watching !

          – MJM, a “wet” ‘n a “smokie”

    • A reference on the government poisoning alcohol that sounds reasonably well-researched:


      A quote from it:

      1. The Federal Poisoning Plan

      Between December 25 and 27, 1926, the city of New York saw 31 alcohol-related deaths and countless others desperately ill. What was originally speculated as your typical alcohol poisoning turned out to be far more disturbing given that the deaths were courtesy of the US government.

      When Prohibition took effect in 1920, law enforcement began denaturing industrial alcohol by adding toxic chemicals. This plan was conducted with the hopes of deterring people from re-purifying the liquid so that it could be consumed. As time passed and the speakeasies and underground bars flourished, the anti-drinking forces in the government developed a new denaturing process that would make industrial-grade alcohol twice as poisonous.

      TIME magazine noted in a 1927 article that three ordinary drinks of this concoction created by the government would cause blindness. Government officials stated that the individuals who consumed the alcohol did it under their own free will, and the act was therefore nothing short of a deliberate suicide. The government insisted that they held no responsibility. Prohibition came to an end five years later, and by that time, the actions of the United States government had claimed the lives of at least 10,000 people.

      Nice, eh? And if they had a way to do the same with bootlegged tobacco today you can bet your bupkis they’d be on top of it faster than a waiter can grab a tip. And it would all be justified as needed “To Save The Children.”

      – MJM

  • Alexander Knapp

    Welcome to the “land of the free”!

  • Dawson Philpot

    Just a question… isn’t there something in the Constitution about taxation without representation? What is the tax money actually going to be used for?

    • Jim McDonald

      This is taxation approved by elected representatives. It’s awful, but it’s not without representation. We absolutely have the right to vote these people out of office.

      • Most of the taxes are legitimate taxes. The MSA was extortion and blackmail by a compact of 40 odd states — seemingly specifically forbidden under the Constitution, and walking like a duck, quacking like a duck, and tasting like a duck in terms of taxing individuals directly rather than fining a company and its shareholders. Vapers are a relatively small minority and the majority always LOVES a good excuse to “tax the other fella behind the tree,” plus the tax will be presented as simply protecting children and helping addicted vapers to clean up their lives and protect their families.

        Same sort of tricks and techniques they were using fifteen years ago when I wrote Brains… just updated for vaping.

        – MJM

  • David Bock

    This shit I bull fuck them I’ll spend my money the way I want they think they are power hungry dicks

  • Mister Blog Dog


  • Elizabeth Hummel

    I am a smoker, so regardless of whether you smoke or vape why should we be left holding the check for the funds needed to budget for an entire state? How about instead of discriminating against us for our private activities you up the state sales tax so EVERYONE pays their share. Or you could start charging sales tax on everything with no more exempt items. Or here is an even better idea, stop spending so much damn money.

    • Elizabeth, the standard reply from Antismokers for smokers consists of ridiculously inflated cost figures for smoking along with totally ignoring the tax benefits and the supposed “shorter end of life” period that Antis always otherwise claim and which is the most expensive medical period of life. The same way they’ll yell about employees paying extra health insurance unless all employee smoking (even at home) is banned… but at the same time, never a whisper about the extra $ the smokers are supposedly contributing to retirement funds that they’ll supposedly never collect.

      They’ll have a harder time drumming up those arguments against the Vapers (although they’re trying) so they’ll probably play up The Children card harder.

      Re the taxes/costs, I think you’d enjoy reading this appendix excerpt from Brains:


      Bear in mind that the arguments today would be *MUCH* stronger since cigarette tax inflation has increased literally hundreds of percent above inflation since most of the 1997 era references in that appendix.

      – MJM

  • lncognito

    What a methed up state, couldn’t pay me to visit there.

  • How can they even track online purchases?

    • Through payment records. Although it’s possible that things like bitcoin may throw a monkey wrench into their machinations.

    • Jim McDonald

      See several comments above.

  • Craig
  • Doug Beichner

    Do they charge 40% tax on things such as Lighters,cigar cutters, tobacco pipes, papers,screens and pipe cleaners? If they don’t then they have no right charging 40% on tanks,mods,coils,wire, and cotton! I am beyond mad about this overtake of a 95% safer choice over tobacco. My gf and I have been using vaping as a way to refrain from smoking and keep a smoke free environment for our 3 year old daughter!!!! Also, does this mean our currently existing mods and juice will be illegal come October 1st?

    • Jeremiah Brown

      ^^^This question right here is what I was wondering. I mean fine, okay, tax me for the shit. But, jail time? Seriously?

    • Jim McDonald

      Illegal to buy or sell products that haven’t been taxed after the law takes effect.

  • Doug Beichner

    This is not even a revenue thing! It’s a prohibition on a safer alternative ! FDA being paid off by Big Tobacco and Pharmaceutical due to Big Tobacco loosing over 20% of their customers, there for decreasing the payments and need for chemo therapy.

  • The fines/prison for online buying were accepted for smokers with nobody making much noise over it other than disgruntled smokers, so it’s not looking good for vapers. In terms of back taxes, a number of smokers were hit with sudden bills for tens of thousands of dollars of taxes the gvt claimed were “evaded” and I believe some lost their homes. Don’t know if any or how many were sent to prison.

    If you light up in an airport in California nowadays I believe it’s a felony — and if it’s your third strike you’re looking at life in prison without parole. Don’t know if that applies to vapers yet. (Also not totally sure if it extends fully from airplanes to airports or if you try vaping or smoking in an airplane restroom on a plane that then makes a scheduled or unscheduled landing in California.

    – MJM

  • Joe

    Well if you want to fight this vote the ba starts out that brought these taxes in get rid.of the damn problem and start voting people who support vaping there out there PA is by far mostly liberal Democrats and I hate to say it that’s the problem by far yes I know some are Republican but the liberal agenda is all about control and making the people do what they want VOTE THEM OUT

    • SayWha

      you do realize that PA has a republican controlled state house and senate, right? it’s THEM that introduced the bill AND haven’t passed a state budget for a democrat governor until now.
      honestly, look at the numbers …. (R)’s are the majority in our state government.

  • Robert E Waltemyer

    Taxation without representation, a politician wasn’t supposed to be a paid position either. Yeah it does seem like the mofia is running this state.

  • “It sounds like a bad joke, but it’s all too real. Pennsylvania vapers could go to prison for buying vapor products online and not paying a 40 percent tax on them”

    Basically the same thing that everyone accepted for smokers over the past ten years with very few people caring, so unfortunately they may have a good basis in precedent. It’s the old story of them knocking on the door of the neighbor next door and then having them knock on your own.

    EDIT: just noticed my similar post here from a week ago. I’ll leave this though as a reminder to learn from history: study what was done to smokers, see the lessons that they learned about fighting (usually learning them too late… but maybe not too late for Vapers to apply them), and expose the lies of the Antismokers who’ve now become Antivapers.

    – MJM

  • Jeffrey Jacobsen

    I’d like to know if this crap applies to e-juice without nicotine in it as well. I’m down to 6mg at the moment. Started off with 24 from an online store (WAY TOO MUCH!) Then 16mg to 12mg. Plan on going to 3mg. I like vaping. I could care less whether it has nicotine in the near future.
    It would be interesting to see law enforcement officials attempt to arrest me for using a product that’s nicotine free. If it’s exempt from this ridiculous law and I do run into trouble if I could counter sue the state for such an inconvenience. That would be some lovely karma, wouldn’t it?

    • I believe it DOES apply to the non-nic varieties, and the State will have their entire panoply of legal eagles from the Attorney General on down to throw at anyone trying to beat them in court.

      Wait till they follow it up with the same sort of “retroactive taxation” they’ve pulled on smokers in some states, not just for out-of-state buying, but for any e-products you’ve bought IN-state before the tax was passed.


  • Matt

    Yea, PA expects us to submit the tax to them for everything we buy online from out of state, do they ever pursue it? Never, it’s impossible.

    • Don’t be so sure. New York went after smokers a few years ago for RETROACTIVE taxes going back for years for thousands of dollars. I remember some very scary stories about people worrying about losing their houses etc because they had no money saved up for the sudden huge bills. People let them get away with it because hey, it was just smokers getting screwed… by the time they go after the grannies who ordered birthday gifts from Sears & Roebuck there’ll be no one left to fight.
      – MJM

  • Ecliption

    any update on this?

  • Richard Harrow

    So if I buy a vape pen online, PA wants me to pay them 40%… How do they know that I bought it?

    • Jim McDonald

      They probably won’t. If they suspect it, they might subpoena credit card records from the vendor — or from you. But that is unlikely.

  • Gregory Theodore Bakes

    Fucking governement douche bags!!!! Money, Money, Money is all they care about! Send us to prison for saving our own lives!!!!! ugh living in America is like being locked in a box!!!! i fucking hate it!!!!