Recently there have been discussions as to whether there should be a sin tax leveed on smokeless cigarettes. A sin tax is a tax that is placed on items that are deemed ‘bad’ like alcohol, tobacco, gasoline and most recently sugary soda. It is inferred that the purpose behind these taxes is that if the price rises high enough that consumers will limit their intake of the products. One thing, however, is apparently clear in the whole situation—these proposed ‘sin taxes’ are lining the government’s pockets.
In the midst of all the ‘back-and-fourth’ arguments there are four facts about smokeless cigarettes that law makers should give more consideration about before leveeing high taxes on the devices—especially since some state’s lawmakers have suggested taxes as high as 90 percent.
- Although research is still being conducted, smokeless cigarettes have NOT been proven harmful
To this point, most of the research on smokeless cigarettes has shown that they are much less harmful to the human body than tobacco cigarettes—and even less harmful to those who would be exposed to secondhand smoke.
- Smokeless cigarettes may help break the habit of smoking
While manufacturers generally refrain from making the claim that their product will help you quit smoking, there has been research that has shown smokeless cigarettes may help ease withdrawal symptoms in those who are quitting smoking. In addition, the May 20th journal of Addiction published that those who quit smoking using e-cigarettes were 63% more likely to continue to be smoke-free than other stop smoking methods.
- Raising taxes on smokeless cigarettes may persuade smokers to continue to use tobacco cigarettes
This is because that the higher the price of smokeless cigarettes encourages people to continue their normal nicotine-delivery system. One aspect that may drive this assumption is that with e-cigarettes, there is an upfront monetary commitment you must make—you have to purchase a starter kit—and, depending on your preferences, these typically cost more than you’d pay for a carton of tobacco cigarettes. However, once you’re an established vaper, this cost will level off.
- Likewise, vapers may buy inferior products
Raising the cost of well-produced smokeless cigarettes through taxes may increase the likelihood that vapers will purchase cheap knock-off e-cigarettes. Cheaper is not always better. Cheap smokeless cigarettes could be produced under unsafe conditions and put consumers at risk. Not only would this be bad for their health, but it could also tarnish the reputation of well-produced smokeless cigarettes.
More information on the proposed sin taxes can be found here.