Nevada senator proposes 30 percent tax on vaping products

CARSON CITY – Vaping products would be taxed like tobacco, at 30 percent of their wholesale cost, under a bill heard in committee Thursday. Health advocates said they were trying to reverse a rise in teenage vaping while shop owners said the tax would kill their business.

would also set licensing requirements and fees for dealers. Proceeds could fund public health improvement and tobacco use prevention and cessation efforts.

The added tax and fees might raise as much as $8 million. But revenue is not the main goal of the bill, sponsor Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Sparks, told the Senate Revenue and Economic Development Committee.

“This is a public health bill,” Ratti said. “The goal is to reduce usage by raising the price. The intent here is to disrupt the industry.”

Ratti, joined by public health advocates, cited a Centers for Disease Control study from November that found a by high school students in just one year, and a 48 percent increase in use by middle-schoolers over the same period. According to the report, 3.6 million high school students use e-cigarettes, more than 27 percent of them on a regular basis.

Area high school students who testified said most if not all of their friends had at least tried e-cigarettes, some of which are so inconspicuous that students use them in class without being detected.

The FDA says no tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, is .

Testifying against the bill, vaping industry officials and vape shop owners said the problem of teenage usage was more one of enforcing laws that ban the sale of vaping products to minors. They said higher prices could discourage people from giving up regular tobacco products in favor of e-cigs, which are less harmful.


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