national call to actioN
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WEST VIRGINIA – Contact Sen. Manchin
03/09/22 – Overnight, the US House of Representatives passed the 2022 Omnibus Spending package with a defacto ban on synthetic nicotine included. The budget bill is moving to the Senate for final consideration.
03/08/22 – Rider including an amendment to include synthetic nicotine in FDA’s tobacco authorities is being debated as part of the 2022 Omnibus Budget Bill.
The omnibus budget bill is must-pass legislation that funds the US Government for the rest of 2022. A de facto ban on synthetic nicotine is included in this year’s package–without going through the normal committee process.
If passed, the synthetic nicotine
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.
Spread the word!