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The E-Cigarette Tax – A Load of Bull? [POLL]

Credit: Goodluz, ThinkStock)
Credit: Goodluz, ThinkStock)

Assuming you’ve been smoking for a number of years and have tried all the hullabaloo, have e-cigarettes been the eventual savior of your lungs – and your life?

While the jury is still out as to the long term health effects of smoking e-cigarettes, you have to admit that just by the looks of it, taking in a flavored water vapor with a nicotine substitute as opposed to smoking a conventional cigarette will not be as detrimental to your health.

Nor to the health of others as the risk of taking in second-hand smoke has been reduced!

Again, just to qualify, we still don’t know the long term effects of smoking e-cigs – but then again, you also have to assume that e-cigs aren’t smoked with the same frequency as regular cigarettes.

So to hear it told by members of the Christie administration that the reason they want the e-cigarette tax to mirror that of conventional cigarettes is due to health concerns smacks of pure and utter bull!

The state is losing money on the sale of regular cigarettes. That’s a good thing. Apparently all the bans that have been put in place plus the exorbitant taxes placed on a pack of cigarettes makes stopping practical.

So if e-cigarettes are being used as a smoking cessation product, as many callers have suggested, why jack up the tax and say it’s for “health reasons” – as though it too were a plague that had to be stopped dead in its tracks?

Short answer – there’s a budget shortfall and the state needs to raise more money – so they’ll do it on the backs of smokers – those of conventional cigarettes and e-cigs alike.

According to this from nj.com.

State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff said today that Gov. Chris Christie’s administration wants to increase taxes on electronic cigarettes for the sake of the public’s health.

“Our goal is to achieve rough parity with the tax burden on conventional cigarettes. Why? Our main concern is public health,” Sidamon-Eristoff said at an Assembly Budget Committee hearing today. “Contrary to the claims of some users, e-cigarettes have not been shown to be a ‘safe’ alternative to regular cigarettes. Nor are they a proven path to smoking cessation.”

Christie’s budget anticipates $35 million in revenue by applying the $2.70 per pack regular state tax on cigarettes to the electronic cigarettes, which deliver nicotine in the form of water vapor. Users of the products have flooded recent Senate and Assembly budget committee meetings to oppose the tax.

Because e-cigarettes are relatively new products, there are no reliable scientific studies on whether they carry any health risks. E-cigarette users and manufacturers have flooded recent Assembly and Senate meetings to speak out against the tax.

I swear to you – I feel like I’m having a flashback to the Corzine administration.

You have to remember how the former Governor wanted to promote healthier lifestyles, but one of his schemes was to raise the tax on residents who had gym memberships. WTF!

Only difference there was I don’t remember him giving a fugazy reason for raising the tax.

Here you have an administration telling you the tax is being raised for health concerns.

If the administration were so concerned about your health, they’d ban the sale of cigarettes outright.

I say, “put your money where your mouth is” – but then again, they’d rather take your money.

Have e-cigs helped you stop smoking? What has helped you stop?
Should e-cigarettes be taxed the same as conventional cigarettes?

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