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Idaho – Stop a Vapor Tax [ENDED]

current status

Bill
Introduced

Passed
house

Passed
Senate

Signed by
Governor

03.17.23 – By a vote of 9-7, HB 331 will be held in committee rather than advancing to the floor of the house.

03.17.23 – Public Hearing, 8:30 AM, House Revenue and Taxation Cmte.

03.16.23 – Introduced as RS 30694, noticed for hearing on Friday, March 17, 2023, 8:30 AM, House Revenue and Taxation Cmte.

HB 331, a 40% wholesale tax on vapor and other smoke-free nicotine products, was introduced Thursday morning (3/16/23). As is typical with desperate idealogues who benefit from limiting debate on such issues, this bill was quickly scheduled for a hearing on

  • Friday, March 17, 2023
  • 8:30 AM
  • House Revenue and Taxation Committee, Room EW42

[update] By a vote of 9-7, HB 331 will not advance to the full House at this time. While this is a positive outcome for today, advocates in Idaho are encouraged to stay vigilant and keep sharing your experiences with lawmakers. The tax is on pause, but not dead.

Please take action by making contact with your officials and urge them to reject this tax that will do more to keep people smoking than it will to protect young people from smoking (it’s a vape tax, so it won’t do anything to discourage smoking).

Share your story about switching to vaping or other smoke-free products like snus, nictoine pouches, or smokeless tobacco by editing the message we’re providing here. You can use the talking points below to help write your comments.

  • State that you are opposed to RS 30694 and any legislation that would make safer alternatives to smoking less affordable. In addition to the points below, this legislation is asking a population of Idahoans who tend to be lower-income to foot the bill on tax relief for wealthier property owners.
  • Share your experience with switching to vapor products. If affordability compared to continuing to smoke was a motivating factor for trying vaping or other smoke-free products, be sure to include that in your comments. Conversely, if the already high initial cost of these products delayed your first purchase, highlight this instead. Be sure to include any changes in your health that you’ve experienced as a result of switching to safer nicotine or tobacco products.
  • Taxes on traditional cigarettes are intended to discourage use. But, e-cigarettes and other smoke-free tobacco products are estimated to be 98 – 99% less harmful than smoking, discouraging use is counter to the goals of reducing smoking rates.
  • Research shows that increasing taxes on smoke-free alternatives (like vaping) reduces quit attempts and quitting. Economists at the University of Georgia recently published an analysis of a proposed federal tax on vaping and concluded that “the unintended effects of ENDS taxation may considerably undercut or even outweigh any public health gains.”
  • Other governments are taking exactly the opposite approach. Public Health England (the government public health agency) explicitly endorses a policy of encouraging people who smoke to switch to e-cigarettes and vapor products.
  • Sin taxes are regressive. People who smoke and those who switch to vaping and other smoke-free alternatives are disproportionately poor and low income people. Sin taxes place unnecessary burdens on an already financially challenged group. To make matters worse, people in the low-income bracket are less likely to be insured and lack access to health care providers. The affordable resources available to these people have low success rates.
  • Sin taxes on safer nicotine products sends a confusing and inaccurate message to would-be adopters that combustible and smoke-free products present similar risks. The result of this message is that more people, those who otherwise would have switched to a smoke-free product, will be encouraged to continue smoking.

Agenda - 03.17.23

HB 331 - Bill Details

Read Full Bill Text

Watch Live - 03.17.23

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