New Jersey Proposes 75% Tax On Vapor Products

As published by the State Of New Jersey, Assembly Bill #1586 would levy a 75% tax on all vapor products, hardware or eliquid alike. The bill’s definition is thorough, defining an e-cigarette as:

“…a device that can deliver nicotine, nicotine and flavor, or other chemicals or substances to a person inhaling from the device that electronically or by other means vaporizes a liquid solution into an aerosol mist or vapor, simulating the act of tobacco smoking. An electronic cigarette includes but is not limited to any components, parts or accessories thereof which contain nicotine, such as cartridges and vials, and includes any delivery device components, whether or not sold separately[.]”

Though the 75% wholesale tax proposed by Assembly Bill #1586 is not as heavy as Minnesota’s 95% wholesale tax, it would never the less prove devastating to New Jersey vapor businesses and consumers alike. Historically, punitively high taxation of this kind is difficult to rationalize in economic terms; businesses which are forced to shutter their stores, after all, yield no tax revenue to the state. Rather, the intent seems clearly focused on arbitrarily dictating consumer behavior by removing legal products from the marketplace while bypassing the democratic process. Bans, after all, can be appealed and overturned; taxes, on the other hand, rarely if ever are vulnerable to the will of the people.

Assembly Bill #1586 essentially reclassifies all vapor products as tobacco products, completely disregarding the scientific evidence that vaping is ~95% less hazardous than smoking. Regulatory and taxation strategies which treat vapor products identically to tobacco products have been found to diminish both harm reduction and smoking cessation in tobacco users, negatively impacting public health.



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