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Missouri – [Concluded] Stop a Vape Tax and Indoor Vaping Ban!
SB 124 would subject vapor products to Missouri’s tax on “other tobacco products” (or OTP) and ban vaping in the same places where smoking is prohibited. This bill would also raise the minimum sales age for tobacco and nicotine products from 18 to 21.
If enacted, SB 124 would impose an additional 10% tax on vapor products based on the manufacturer’s invoice price before any discounts or deals.
This bill was released from the Senate Seniors, Families, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee on February 3, 2021 with a “Do Pass” recommendation. The next step for this bill is to receive a vote by the full senate. At this time, SB 124 has not been placed on the senate calendar, but Senate President Pro Tem, Senator Dave Schatz, could call the bill up at any time.
- Urge Senator Shatz to reject SB 124, which would restrict your ability to use low-risk alternatives to smoking.
- Missouri should consider a “clean” tobacco-21 bill instead, and protect its access to federal funding for mental health support.
- Briefly include your thoughts about saving money from switching to vaping and the ability to vape in places where smoking is banned. Note any role that these advantages play in your success in living smoke-free.
- Note any health changes you’ve experienced.
- Briefly, discuss what losing access to a local supply of vapor products will mean for you (Will you shop out-of-state, in neighboring cities, or online? Will you make your own e-liquid at home or purchase products on an underground market?).
- Be brief, Be kind, and Say Thank You 🙂
At the center of all bills targeting vapor products with strict regulations (in some cases prohibition) is a strong desire to protect young people (no matter what we might believe about states’ financial motivations). At the same time, lawmakers have extra motivation to raise their state’s minimum legal sales age to 21 due to federal funds for substance use and mental health services being withheld if they fail to do so. That being the case, it makes more sense for Missouri to update their code with a “clean” tobacco-21 bill, which has more support than legislation sandbagged with extreme new laws like a flavor ban or extra taxes. Moreover, there is little to no evidence that banning flavored smoke-free products will discourage young people from vaping, let alone support continuing declines in youth smoking. In fact, recent research is showing the opposite.
Please note that CASAA does not support raising the minimum legal sales age for smoke-free tobacco products any higher than 18. Disenfranchising young-adults who smoke is a brute-force approach that will likely leave many people underserved and more likely to continue smoking. States would do better by embracing a harm reduction strategy for reducing the early death and disease attributed to smoking by allowing safer, smoke-free products to compete with incumbent combustibles. Please read CASAA’s updated position statement on Tobacco 21 for more details.