COLUMBUS, O.H. – Today, the American Vaping Association, a leading advocate for the benefits of vapor products such as electronic cigarettes, reacted to the release of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s formal plan to attempt to tax vapor products at the same rate as combustible cigarettes and other tobacco products. As announced earlier this month, Gov. Kasich is seeking to raise Ohio’s tax on cigarettes to $2.25 per pack and hike the tax on ‘other tobacco products’ to 60% of wholesale price, with the goal of both tax increases to achieve tax parity between these two classes of products. Gov. Kasich also noted that his budget would seek to achieve similar parity between cigarettes and vapor products.
As revealed by the release of HB 64 (relevant portions here), Gov. Kasich’s proposed budget would actually tax many vapor products at a rate equivalent to over 150% of retail price. Under his proposal, 0.1 milliliters (ml) of nicotine-containing liquid (known as “e-liquid”) would be considered the equivalent of one cigarette for tax purposes. In other words, Gov. Kasich’s proposal calls for Ohio’s $2.25 cigarette tax to be applied to every 2 ml of e-liquid sold in Ohio.
Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association, issued the following statement:
“Gov. Kasich’s plan to enact sin taxes on the sale of smoke-free vapor products is far worse than originally feared. Under his budget proposal, Ohio vapor retailers and their customers would be hit with a massive new tax that would amount to $33.75 on a 30 milliliter bottle of the e-liquid used in vapor products. Such products retail for approximately $20, so this tax would actually amount to well over 150% of retail price. Meanwhile, Gov. Kasich is only seeking to increase the tax on smoked tobacco products like cigars and loose tobacco to 60% of wholesale price.
“A recent survey released by the Minnesota Department of Health found that vapor products were by far the most used tool by smokers making quit attempts. This is almost undoubtedly the case in Ohio as well. In light of the clear public health benefits of these anti-tobacco technology products, no additional taxes are justified, let alone taxes that are clearly designed to discourage smokers from switching.
“Why would a self-described ‘conservative’ attack a product of the free market that has been shown to effectively help adult smokers kick their smoking addiction? All signs point to an even stronger addiction — the State of Ohio’s dependence on cigarette tax revenue.”
About the American Vaping Association
The American Vaping Association is a nonprofit organization that advocates for fair and sensible regulation of vapor products, otherwise known as electronic cigarettes, with the goal of maximizing the number of adult smokers who use these products to quit smoking. The AVA was founded by Gregory Conley, a consumer and industry advocate with a long track record of advocating for vapor products dating back to 2010.
We are dedicated to educating the public and government officials about public health benefits offered by vapor products, which are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine or nicotine-free solution and create an inhalable vapor. The AVA is not a trade group and does not speak for any particular businesses, including our industry sponsors.