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Indiana – Stop a Vapor Tax (HB 1434)

current status

Bill
Introduced

Passed
house

Passed
senate

Signed by
Governor

02/04/21 – House Public Health Hearing (08:30 2/4/2021 Room 19)

                  – Cmte report: Amend, Do Pass – Referred to Ways and Means Cmte.

02/01/21 – (Rescheduled)Public Hearing, H. Cmte on Public Health, 8:30 AM (see “Hearing Details” for more info).

01/14/21 – Introduced and referred to H. Cmte on Public Health.

HB 1434 would impose an 8c/mL tax on e-liquid. This bill is referred to the Committee on Ways and means. No hearing is scheduled at this time

8c/mL might not sound like much, but when you add up the tax on a 30mL bottle of e-liquid, it adds an extra $2.40 per bottle. By comparison, even after this bill raises the tax on a pack of cigarettes by $1.00, the tax on a 30mL bottle of e-liquid will be higher.

While there is no “cigarette-to-vapor” equivalency between a 30mL bottle and a pack of smokes, 30mL is one of the most common sizes of product that people buy. Making the sticker shock worse is the fact that before taxes, 30mL of e-liquid typically costs $20.00. For someone just beginning their switch to a smoke-free product, the high initial cost of vaping is enough to keep cigarettes attractive on price.

A study on the vapor tax in Minnesota (enacted in 2010) found that it discouraged many people from switching. “Specifically, the 95 percent e-cig tax in Minnesota, the first such tax increase in the nation, led to a decrease in cigarette smoking cessation by about 1.14 percentage points — approximately a 5 percent increase in relative smoking participation. In fact, virtually all of the increase in current smoking prevalence in Minnesota is associated with the e-cig tax and the associated decrease in successful quits.“ (RealClearPolitics)

Indeed, anti-tobacco activists promote extra taxes on all nicotine and tobacco products as a way to discourage use. But while this may be appropriate for the most harmful products, there is no public health benefit from discouraging people from switching to safer alternatives.

Safety Protocols: The First Regular Session of the 122nd Indiana General Assembly

Read Full Bill Text

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