This is a syndicated post, which originally appeared at CASAA. View original post.
If enacted, this bill would:
- Redefine “tobacco product” in Utah’s tobacco tax code to include e-cigarettes and e-cigarette cartridges. As a result, e-cigarettes would be taxed at 86% manufacturer’s price. (Section 1)
- Ban sales through the mail and Internet by requiring face-to-face transactions. (Section 7)
- Disallow sampling in e-cigarette stores by prohibiting vendors from giving away products to customers. (Section 8)
Please call or write the members of the House Health and Human Services Committee below:
What to say:
1. You oppose HB372 because Section 1 would tax e-cigarettes at 86% manufacturer’s price and Section 7 would make the sale of e-cigarettes online or through the mail a criminal offense punishable by a $5,000 fine.
3. Explain that the purpose of increasing cigarette taxes has been to cover governmental healthcare expenditure caused by smoking and to discourage smoking. But since electronic cigarettes are 98-99% less hazardous than cigarettes, there is no fiscal or public health justification for such a hefty tax.
7. Many smokers who switch to less hazardous electronic cigarettes do so because e-cigarettes are less expensive than cigarettes. Increasing the costs of e-cigarettes to that of cigarettes would discourage many smokers from switching to e-cigarettes. It could also encourage some e-cigarette consumers to go back to cigarette smoking.
House Health & Human Services Committee
Rep. Paul Ray, Chair
H: 801-774-0624 / M: 801-725-2719
Rep. LaVar Christensen, Vice Chair
Rep. Stewart Barlow
Rep. Michael S. Kennedy
H: 801-763-1376 / C: 801-358-2362
H: 435-752-3364 / C: 435-760-3177