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Texas – Stop a Vapor Tax (HB 211)
05/10/21 – Received in the Senate.
05/07/21 – Third Reading, Passed (84 yea, 56 nay, 1 present, not voting); Reported Engrossed.
05/06/21 – Placed on General State Calendar
05/04/21 – Second Reading, Point of Order raised that the Committee Substitute was not germane to the original bill. Point of order sustained; returned to Calendar Committee; Considered in Calendars; Original Bill ordered printed.
04/12/21 – PUBLIC HEARING, 10:00 AM, April 12, H. Ways & Means, Committee Substitute considered; reported as favorably substituted.
02/25/21 – First Reading, Referred to H. Ways & Means Committee
You can read all actions for this bill on the bill page for HB 211.
HB 211 which would impose a 5c/mL tax on e-liquid containing nicotine has passed committee and is moving to a vote by the full House.
Please take a moment TODAY to send a message to your state senator urging them to OPPOSE HB211 and any other proposals to make safer alternatives to smoking less affordable.
You are encouraged to edit the prewritten message provided here by including your own experience of switching to vaping and why this issue is important to you.
- 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 initial 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.
- Other governments are taking exactly the opposite approach. Public Health England (the government public health agency) recently explicitly endorsed a policy of encouraging smokers 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 that are available have low success rates.
- Imposing a tax on these products will drive consumers to shop in neighboring states that do not have a similar tax. Concurrently, consumers will be encouraged to shop online for better deals, sending even more money out of the community. Local businesses will not be able to compete, be pressured to close their doors, and jobs will be lost. This is bad for the state and will result in less revenue, not more.
- It is important to note that vapor products are already subject to a general sales tax.
- 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. In fact, the FDA has identified misperceptions about nicotine as a significant barrier to helping people quit smoking. The result of this message is that more people, those that otherwise would have switched to a smoke-free product, will be encouraged to continue smoking.