Senate Republicans voted Tuesday to lower the tax on some tobacco products – notably, certain vape products.
Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) said the measure, SB 382, is the result of behind-the-scenes negotiations to bring "parity" to the vape industry in Indiana. Lawmakers only recently imposed the tobacco tax on e-cigarettes and e-liquids. And how that tax was imposed was unequal, Holdman said, between "open" systems – which can be refilled – and "closed" systems, which can’t.
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But Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) said numerous studies show that a key way to stop people from using tobacco is making the price higher, not lower.
"We already, as a state, have one of the worst health indicators in the nation," Lanane said. "And a lot of that’s because we have a higher rate than most other states in terms of smoking."
Lanane said the tax cut in the bill will amount to about $1 per two-pack of vape pens.
The measure now heads to the House.
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