Trump wants the e-cigarette industry to pay $100 million a year in user fees

The fees, if approved by Congress, would pay for federal oversight.

The e-cigarette industry would pay $100 million a year in user fees under the Trump administration budget proposal released Monday. The funds would go to beefed-up regulatory oversight by the Food and Drug Administration.

E-cigarettes are not subject to such fees now, but several other types of tobacco products are, including cigarettes, cigars and snuff. The agency is expected to collect an estimated $712 million in user fees in the current fiscal year, with cigarettes accounting for more than 86 percent of the amount.

President Trump’s budget plan said the user-fee proposal for the e-cigarette industry “would ensure that FDA has the resources to address today’s alarming rise in youth e-cigarette use as well as new public health threats of tomorrow.”

Overall, the administration is asking for $6.1 billion in FDA funding, a $418.5 million boost over current law. A big chunk, $2.8 billion, involves user fees from the drug, device and other industries, as well as the proposed e-cigarette fee. The budget request includes increases to promote medical-product innovation, food safety and blood-supply safety.

The FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products is funded entirely by user fees. Extending the requirement to e-cigarettes would provide more resources as the agency tries to combat youth vaping and assesses the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes for adults.

The proposed fees on the e-cigarette industry would be imposed on manufacturers and importers of vaping devices and e-liquids. The change would have to be approved by Congress, administration officials said.

Liz Mair, a strategist for Vapers United, criticized the user-fee proposal. “This is a tax, not a ‘user fee,’” she said. “‘User fee’ is lingo that Republicans and conservative Democrats use when they’re about to hike taxes but don’t want to admit that’s what they’re doing.” She added that the government should pursue policies to keep vaping taxes low to encourage adult smokers to switch to e-cigarettes.

Read more at https://www.washingtonpost.com

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