March 8, 2019

E-Cigarette Tax Would Impact Small Businesses

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
E-liquids for sale at Just Vapor in Fishers.  - Jill Sheridan/IPB News

E-liquids for sale at Just Vapor in Fishers.

Jill Sheridan/IPB News

A bill to tax electronic cigarettes in Indiana is moving through the legislature and some say the proposal needs work.

Indiana does not tax e-cigarettes and vapor products, but it’s one of many states that might create one this year.  The proposal would tax the liquids used in vaping devices. 

Some say this would disproportionately impact small businesses, since local shops primarily sell those liquids. Mason Odle owns two vapor shops in the state.

"The 4 cent per milliliter tax would definitely not change anybody’s buying habits when it comes to the Juul product," says Odle. 

Bryan Hannon with the American Cancer Society says lawmakers should adjust the tax so that big companies like Juul are impacted.

"If we’re going to tax them and try to keep kids away lets at least treat them as we’re treating other tobacco products and tax them at a wholesale price," says Hannon. 

Hannon says tax revenue should also be invested in underfunded smoking cessation and prevention efforts. 

But echoing some lawmakers' concerns, Odle says the tax will also impact people who use his products for tobacco cessation. 

"This product is helping individuals quit smoking and get off the tobacco and cigarettes," says Odle. 

The bill is being considered by the Senate.

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