May 31, 2018

New York & New Jersey: Terrible Vaping Laws Proposed

Vapers in New York and New Jersey may be facing serious challenges to their ability to buy the vapor products they want, if they don’t tell their elected officials that vaping is important to them. Both states are considering legislation that would have devastating effects on vaping businesses.

In New York, state Sen. Kemp Hannon has again introduced a ban on flavored e-liquid. Hannon has offered this legislation before, but the current anti-vaping atmosphere might be enough to allow the bill to gain support in the legislature.

“Even though Senator Hannon has introduced some form of flavor ban legislation in several previous sessions with no success, the current moral panic and hysteria surrounding flavored vapor products makes this year’s attempt even more concerning,” says the CASAA call to action.

The Senate Health Committee will discuss the bill (S 8610) in a closed meeting today at noon. Even if you can’t send a message (using the link below) to committee members in time for the meeting, send one anyway. They need to hear that their constituents oppose silly, shortsighted legislation of vaping products that help millions of ex-smokers.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey the new governor, Democrat Phil Murphy, has included a whopping 75 percent wholesale tax on vapor products in his proposed budget. That would actually tax vapes at a higher rate than the proposed 68 percent tax on other tobacco products.

There is still discussion going on within the administration about a final number, but the original proposal would wipe out vape shops and e-liquid manufacturers in the state.

“There is discussion that has been ongoing making sure our tax rates are competitive with Pennsylvania,” deputy treasurer Catherine Brennan told NJ.com. “We want to make sure our rates are competitive, so we haven’t finalized what that legislation is going to look like.”

Pennsylvania passed a 40 percent wholesale tax on vaping products in 2016. Since then, more than 100 small businesses have closed. New Jersey has more than 300 vaping businesses, SFATA executive director Mark Anton told NJ.com. A 75 percent tax (or, for that matter, a 40 percent tax) would deal a crushing blow to those vape shops.

The New Jersey legislature’s budget committees are still discussing details, and all New Jersey vapers should use the CASAA call to action page to send messages to committee members.

Smokers created vaping without any help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and vapers have the right to keep innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I recently joined the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy

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