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VIRGINIA – Stop a Tax Hike on Vaping!

current status

Bill
Introduced

Passed
Senate

Passed
House

Signed by
Governor

01/29/24 – First Reading, referred to Rules and S. Health and Human Services.

Virginia’s budget is moving to a special session and Governor Youngkin has included a tax hike on nicotine e-liquid that would almost double the existing tax to 11c/ml, or $11.00 per 100ml bottle. Jacking up the tax on e-liquid would punish people who smoke, or vape who are incentivized to switch to safer, more affordable alternatives to cigarettes. Governor Youngkin’s proposal violates his campaign promise to not raise taxes on hard working Virginians.

The legislature is expected to return on May 13 and a vote on the budget package is expected on the 15th. Prior to any vote, Virginia advocates are encouraged to contact Governor Youngkin and urge him to remove the vape tax from the budget.

Call the Governor’s office:

(Talking points are provided below if you need some inspiration)

  • (804) 786-2211

Be sure to also send an email using the form provided on this page.

  • State that you are opposed to raising taxes on low-risk nicotine products.
  • Share your experience with switching to vaping. If affordability compared to continuing to smoke motivated you to try 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 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 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.The UK’s Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (formerly Public Health England) 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.
  • Be brief, be kind, and say thank you 🙂

Take Action Now!

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