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MONTANA – Contact Sen. Tester – Stop the Nicotine Tax!
11.19.21 – The House has passed the Build Back Better bill, which includes the nicotine tax. Our last chance to have it removed is now in the senate. Please contact your senators ASAP and urge them to oppose this tax!
11.03.21 – [URGENT UPDATE] Following several drafts of the Build Back Better funding bill did not include an outrageous tax on nicotine, the tax has been added back in. Noteably, the 100% increase in cigarette taxes is being left out in favor of taxing safer, smoke-free products at the current rate of cigarettes.
09.13.21 – WSJ – “Here Comes the Biden Tax Bill“
On Friday, November 19, the House of Representatives passed the “Build Back Better Act” which includes a ridiculous federal tax on vaping and other smoke-free nicotine products. The tax amounts to $0.028 per milligram of nicotine, and while this might not sound like much, if the same tax were applied to cigarettes it would be 5 -6 times the current rate. This isn’t an equivalency tax, it’s an all-out assault on safer alternatives to smoking.
Montana Senator, Jon Tester needs to hear from you and everyone you know who’s benefited from safer, affordable alternatives to smoking–including friends and loved ones who may have never vaped, smoked, or used nicotine.
MAKE A CALL
While sending an email is the easiest thing anyone can do to make a difference, the actual sound of your voice on the phone will have a greater effect on your officials. Please see the talking points and contact information below for Senator Tester and make your call!
- Thank your senator for opposing this tax!
- 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, and discouraging their use is counter to the goals of reducing smoking rates
- In a National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper (Pesko, et al), economists have concluded that this tax on nicotine risks sending people back to smoking as they substitute vaping with lower taxed cigarettes.
- Other governments are taking exactly the opposite approach. Since 2015, Public Health England (the government public health agency in the UK) endorses a policy of encouraging people who smoke to switch to e-cigarettes and vapor products. Moreover, the UK’s medicines regulator recently updated guidance to people who want to quit smoking so that e-cigarettes may be prescribed by doctors.
- 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 with low-income are less likely to be insured and lack access to health care providers. The affordable resources available to these people have low success rates.
- Imposing a tax on these products will drive consumers to shop in an unregulated, underground market.
- Taxing smoke-free tobacco and nicotine products in a manner similar to how combustible tobacco products are taxed sends a confusing and inaccurate message to would-be adopters that these two very different 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.
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