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Louisiana – Stop a Vape Tax (HB 635)
- 04.20.23 – Referred to the Committe on Ways and Means
(Hearing on Tues., May 9, 9:00 AM)
- 04.19.23 – Introduced
HB 635 started out as a proposal to tax e-liquid at 5c/mL–which is enough to oppose the bill to begin with, but an amendment has been introduced that would raise this rate to 30c/mL.
HB 635 is scheduled for a hearing on
- Tuesday, May 9, 2023
- 9:00 AM
- Committee on Ways and Means
- Committee Room 6
Please take a moment to contact your officials and urge them to Oppose HB 635. Extra taxes on vapor products will only discourage people from switching to less risky, smoke-free alternatives.
If you would like to submit comments to the committee, email your remarks to firstname.lastname@example.org and send before noon on Monday, May 8, 2023. Messages received before the deadline will be distributed to the committee members prior to the meeting.
- State that you are opposed to HB 635 and any legislation that would make safer alternatives to smoking less affordable.
- 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.