Call to Action! New York State Bills Would Impose a 75% or 95% tax on E-Cigarettes and Raise the Tax on Low-Risk Smokeless Tobacco
(last updated 4/5/2014)
Redefine "tobacco products" under New York tax law to include any product containing nicotine. As a result, this would impose a 95% tax on the wholesale price of all e-cigarette products containing nicotine. Raise the tax on smokeless tobacco from 75% to 95%. If enacted, SB 4365 / AB 7106 would:
Redefine "tobacco products" New York tax law to include electronic cigarette cartridges in the State's definition of "tobacco products." (If this bill moves forward, e-liquid will almost undoubtedly be added) As a result, these e-cigarette products would be taxed at 75% of wholesale price.
Remember, you can register to receive free CASAA e-mail alerts regarding this and other legislation in New York and across the United States. We will alert you when there are opportunities to voice your concerns to the members of the New York State Legislature.
Please contact the members of the New York Assembly Health Committee, Senate Health Committee, and other elected officials and let them know:1. Please protect public health, small businesses, and consumers in New York and OPPOSE AB 8495 & AB 7106 because they would institute new and punitive taxes on vapor products (electronic cigarettes) and other smoke-free alternatives.
2. Tell your story on how switching to e-cigarettes has changed your life. (You can stop here -- short and respectful letters are helpful, but if you wish to write more, see below for possible points to discuss)3. Explain that:
Electronic cigarettes are only currently subject to New York State sales tax. As a result, enactment of these bills would result in a tax hike of between 1775% and 2275% on New York businesses and consumers! No other product has gone from being subjected to state sales tax to being taxed at 75% or 95% of wholesale price overnight. Electronic cigarette brick & mortar stores throughout New York are already competing with online e-cigarette businesses in and outside of New York. Taxing e-cigarettes at such a high amount will just drive sales to the hundreds of online retailers who sell in all 50 states. Consumers rely on brick and mortar shops because they have knowledgeable personnel and diverse products. Having the ability to try different devices and liquids and to get advice and information allow consumers to more effectively make the transition from smoking to e-cigarette use. The purpose of states imposing high cigarette taxes is ostensibly to cover governmental healthcare expenditures caused by smoking and to discourage smoking. However, e-cigarettes are estimated to pose approximately 1% of the risk of that from smoking. Therefore, there is absolutely no financial or public health justification for such an extraordinarily burdensome tax. The low risks of e-cigarettes is supported by research done by Dr. Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth, Dr Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Laugesen of Health New Zealand, Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University, and by the fact that the 2009 FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor. Given the low risk of e-cigarette use, there is no need to impose a punitive tax on their sale. A comprehensive review by a Drexel University professor based on over 9,000 observations of e-cigarette liquid and vapor found "no apparent concern" for bystanders exposed to e-cigarette vapor, even under "worst case" assumptions about exposure. Many smokers who switch to less hazardous e-cigarettes instead of continuing to smoke do so because e-cigarettes are less expensive than cigarettes. Increasing the cost of e-cigarettes with punitive taxes would discourage many smokers from switching to e-cigarettes. It could also encourage some e-cigarette consumers to go back to cigarette smoking. 4. Direct them to the CASAA.org website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.
5. Include your name and address at the end of your letter.
TAKE ACTION TO STOP NEW TAXES ON ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES
We have provided three Advocacy Options. You are encouraged to do as many as you are able.
Advocacy Option 1:
MOST IMPORTANTLY, PLEASE CALL:
Senate Co-President Dean Skelos (R) - (518) 455-3171
Senate Co-President Jeffrey Klein (IDC) - (518) 455-3595
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) - (518) 455-3791
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D) - (518) 455-5373
Advocacy Option 2:
Please be sure to also contact your New York State Senator ('Find My Senator') and New York State Assembly representatives. Ask them to OPPOSE any bills that would ban sales of electronic cigarette liquid to adults, enact punitive sin taxes on e-cigarette products, or ban usage where smoking is bannedAdvocacy Option 3
These bills are before several different committees. At this time, it appears that our best course is to centralize our efforts on the members of the powerful Assembly Ways & Means Committee. Ways & Means is the committee that tax bills almost always must go through. They are chiefly concerned with the effect bills have on the economy and the business climate of the State of New York. Nonetheless, they can be won over with personal stories of New York citizens that highlight how e-cigarette use by smokers should not be discouraged by excessive taxation. Please call or e-mail the members of the Assembly Ways & Means Committee below. If making phone calls (which will have a larger impact than e-mails), be sure to pay special attention to what cities / counties the representatives represent. If you can only make a few phone calls, call the representatives nearest to your own district. If you have a favorite vape shop in New York, please ask them to also drive phone calls to the offices of specific members. ASSEMBLY WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE MEMBERS (Phone, Fax): NYC Burroughs
NEARBY NEW YORK CITY
Rochester / Buffalo area
Other Areas of New York
Assm. Janet Duprey (R – Peru), 518-455-4242 / 518-455-4935, NO EMAIL