Vaping in the USA
Vaping has been a hot topic in the US over the last 12 months. From total bans, to flavour bans, some amazing companies who have led the progression of vaping have been living a life of uncertainty as the ongoing debate around vaping continues. As we are now in a world of confidence vs traditional cigarettes, this is now the next step as big tobacco use their power to influence control.
On Thursday 28thMarch the SB 263 bill was scheduled for a public hearing which would impose a 30% tax on vapor products. This tax would ultimately crush most of the vape distributors who offer value and choice, alongside financial hardship for smaller businesses and independent vape shops, whilst increasing the prices for every consumer. 30% tax would create a net loss for most businesses due to the variable margins on products and ultimately lead to mass closure as many could no longer afford their vape businesses. This kind of taxation is why a number of businesses moved from California to Nevada in 2016 and now it is happening again.
So this bill that would raise wholesale tak on all vape related products by 30% and implement a floor tax on all products as of January 1st2020 was submitted by district 13 state senator Julia Ratti. In front of the Senate Revenue and Economic Development committee (RED). She claims this tax is to help benefit children, speaking around how nicotine is a dangerous chemical. However Senator ratti is currently taking contributions from Big Tobacco and Big Pharma! Altria, formerly known as Philip Morris, who also own the closed vaping system JUUL, currently supply over half of the US market in traditional cigarette sales and own 75% of the convenience market through the closed system - JUUL. JUUL is no doubt a cracking device, but buying their refils will cost the average user almost DOUBLE that of an open system sold in vape shops all over the world. Ratti has also taken campaign contributions from Pfizer who are a Big Pharma company who make nicotine inhalers which have numerous side effects such as heart burn, diarrhea and headaches.
So is this really a health awareness initiative, or is the Senator being paid to help the big industry players own the market, crush competition, and kill the small businesses?
It is now clear that Ratti is also the Vice Chair of the committee, so the person set to determine the future is involved with biased opinion. The Senator has also stated that Altria / JUUL would not be affected much by this tax. So again – is this health awareness, or is it to push the agenda of those who are paying the senator?
Also interesting that JUUL is the device leading the ‘epidemic’ amongst American teenagers who are starting to vape? Better they vape than smoke traditional tobacco and UK studies have proven the majority of teenagers who vape here in the UK are those who started to smoke. This mass uptake in vaping by US teenagers has only started since the JUUL device grew its market share to 75% of the convenience stores vape sales…