Vapers in Vermont and Florida need to take immediate action to prevent serious threats to vaping. Vermont has proposed a tax that will crush local businesses, and Florida faces including a vaping ban in its state constitution.
A bill that has already passed the Vermont House, and is now being considered by the Senate, would tax vapor products at a 46 percent wholesale rate. The Senate finance committee is holding a hearing on HB 922 on Wednesday, April 11.
A tax that large would make it almost impossible for vape shops or e-liquid manufacturers to stay open. A smaller 40 percent wholesale tax passed in Pennsylvania in 2016 has forced over 100 vape shops and manufacturers out of business.
The hearing is not public. According to CASAA, “Although opposition to this tax will be presented, the voice of consumer stakeholders is conspicuously absent.” But vapers can have their say now by messaging state Senators on the finance committee using the link on CASAA’s call to action.
In Florida, a Constitutional Revision Commission is considering amendments to include on a November ballot for residents to vote on. The measures approved (with 60 percent of the vote) become part of the state’s constitution.
This is an unusual process that is unique to Florida, and a survey show that 80 percent of Florida residents aren’t even aware of it. The 37-member commission is considering a ballot question that would make vaping unlawful in any place where smoking is prohibited.
Making the issue especially confusing, the commission has combined the anti-vaping law with another, unrelated question about banning oil drilling in Florida. According to CASAA, the reason this has been done is to save space on the ballot. What it really does is confuse voters.
The best way to avoid a confusing vote on an indoor vaping ban is to keep it off the ballot. Vapers can follow CASAA’s call to action and send a message asking the members of the Constitutional Revision Commission to do just that.