Our friends at the Tax Foundation have released a new map — updated as of June 1, 2020 — detailing the excise taxes that various states have placed on the sale of vaping products.
The Tax Foundation’s Janelle Cammenga writes:
Vapor products have been growing in popularity since they entered the market in 2007, and taxation on such items has been following suit. Many states may also be looking toward vapor and other excise taxes to fill budget holes caused by the coronavirus crisis. While those areas may represent untapped revenue sources for many states, taxing those activities is unlikely to raise much revenue in the short term. Vapor products can deliver nicotine, the addictive component of cigarettes, without the combustion and inhalation of tar that is a part of smoking cigarettes and are thus thought to be considerably less harmful than conventional cigarettes.
Vapor products and cigarettes can be economic substitutes. That means high excise taxes on harm-reducing vapor products risk harming public health by pushing vapers to go back to smoking. A recent publication found that 32,400 smokers in Minnesota were deterred from quitting cigarettes after the state implemented a 95 percent excise tax on vapor products.
At the present time, twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have passed taxes on vaping products. There remains no federal tax on vaping products. As detailed in the map, states have chosen different routes for taxation.
From state-to-state, there is little alignment on what specific vaping products are subject to the tax. For example, Minnesota’s 95% wholesale tax only applies to products containing nicotine, while other states like Vermont have much more expansive definitions that include standalone devices sold without nicotine.
With combustible cigarettes killing hundreds of thousands of Americans each year, the American Vaping Association does not support imposing new taxes on the sale of harm reduction products.