Critics of electronic cigarettes have been making efforts to prove that the devices are just like the harmful traditional cigarettes. Choosing to believe these allegations rather than basing decisions according to scientific data and literature, many lawmakers have been pushing laws to restrict the sale and use of ecigs. Others even see the devices as a lucrative stream of income and have proposed legislations taxing ecigs like tobacco.
Ecigarettes Are Not Tobacco
For these lawmakers, ecig taxes might seem such a profitable venture. For the consumers and the public, this measure of taxing ecigs will be more detrimental. The misconception that electronic cigarettes are tobacco could lead to more deaths and illnesses like cancer.
According to Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan, an equal ecigarette regulation is what he wants. Yet, when asked if the high tobacco taxes in the state should also be imposed on the electronic products, he dodged the question and simply answered that it should if ecigs are tobacco.
No matter how intense critics argue that electronic cigarettes are tobacco, everyone would not be too dense to believe it. This perception is based on the fact that liquid nicotine in eliquids is mostly derived from tobacco. Yet, nicotine is also present in other plants and foods that we eat.
Ecig supporters do not really claim that nicotine and ecigs are totally safe; but only safer than tobacco cigarettes. This fact alone is enough to attract many smokers to switch from analog to digital smoking.
Real people who have switched to vaping are testifying about the real effect of ecigs to their health. They were able to feel improvements in their health, relationships and finances. Ecigs offer a healthier choice because there are no carcinogens and tars that could adversely affect users and bystanders.
Taxes For Health Purposes
Michigan has one of the highest tobacco taxes in the US at $2 per cigarette pack. Tobacco taxes are often justified by saying that they are for the protection of public health. Tax supporters say that tobacco-related cancers and illnesses make healthcare costs higher and heavy taxes could help recoup these costs apart from discouraging smoking.
Only Caring For Money
Worth noting about Michigan’s onerous cigarette tax hikes is that they occurred at a time when people are not smoking more and the state government has been in bad need for funds.
Thus, even though cigarette taxes are said to have health purposes, it is not hard for many people to believe that lawmakers’ only concern is money instead of saving people’s lives.
Taxing ecigs like tobacco will simply prove this implication. If the conventional cigarette taxes were really for the public health protection instead of extra government loot, then anti-smoking lobbyists and policymakers would sincerely fight off urges to tax the electronic devices same way as tobacco cigarettes. These devices are obviously viable solutions to the persistent problems caused by tobacco smoking. Officials should even consider promotional campaigns to encourage smokers to switch.
Taxing ecigs like tobacco is essentially deterring consumers from vaping. Ecigarette critics allege that vaping invite non-smokers to smoking, but current data show that vapers are mostly former and current smokers. Thus, higher ecigarette taxes will only make people stick to the cancer-causing tobacco sticks. Worse, these people who will be left clinging to their ashtrays and cigarettes are low-income smokers.
More repugnant cancers will result to onerous vaping taxes. However, given the present reputation of lawmakers when it comes to taxes and revenues, it is only practical to expect that they will choose to kill rather than save lives if they push these ecig taxes. As Ken Braun stated in his piece, it is enough that ecigs are left alone after politicians have passed bills to keep the ecig and nicotine away from children.
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