HARRISBURG, P.A. – Today, the American Vaping Association, a leading advocate for the benefits of vapor products such as electronic cigarettes, joined with longtime Pennsylvania anti-smoking advocate Bill Godshall to react to Governor Tom Wolf’s proposal to tax vapor products at 40% of wholesale price. Gov. Wolf’s budget would also increase Pennsylvania’s cigarette tax by $1 per pack and tax other tobacco products (OTP) like smokeless tobacco and cigars at the same rate as vapor products.
Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association, issued the following statement:
“In a state with over 2 million smokers, it is unconscionable to target these smoke-free products with new taxes. Vapor products have been repeatedly proven to help smokers kick the habit. Discouraging adult smokers from switching to vaping will only result in more disease and death.”Pennsylvania’s 120+ vapor retail specialty stores will also suffer under this bill. Many consumers will avoid the tax by shopping over state lines or through the Internet.”For the good of public health and small businesses in Pennsylvania, the Legislature should reject Gov. Wolf’s tax hike on vapor products.”
Bill Godshall, longtime anti-smoking activist and the Executive Director of Smokefree Pennsylvania, issued the following statement:
“Cigarettes cause 99% of tobacco attributable disease, disability, healthcare costs and death. In sharp contrast, e-cigs and smokeless tobacco have helped several million smokers quit, pose negligible risks, and save the Commonwealth money.””The PA General Assembly should increase the cigarette tax, but should reject taxing low risk OTP and lifesaving vapor products. Besides, raising the cigarette tax by $1 per pack will generate five times more tax revenue than Governor Wolf’s counterproductive OTP and vapor product tax proposal.”
For more information on e-cigarettes and their efficacy for helping smokers quit, please see these studies. (1, 2, 3, 4).
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.
You can learn more about AVA and vaping by visiting the AVA website. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.