One prominent California resident and activist is campaigning to get a tobacco and vaporizer product tax bill on the state’s national ballot, but this time it isn’t an elected politician. Billionaire and Save Lives Coalition co-chair, Tom Steyer, has recently been campaigning and donating large sums of money to a campaign to raise California’s tax rate on both tobacco cigarettes and subsequently e-cigarettes. Right now Californians currently pay 87 cents in taxes on a pack of tobacco cigarettes in state retail stores.
While this potential tax law is still in the early process, Mr. Steyer has already donated $1 million to the campaigning efforts seeking to get the initiative on 2016’s national election ballot. In addition, Mr. Steyer spoke at a news conference in January at a Sacramento high school along with representatives of the American Heart Association, advocating for a new $2 tax on tobacco cigarettes. While the majority of the campaign is targeting tobacco products, by law, the proposal would also extend to taxing vaporizer and e-cigarette products if passed.
Adding additional taxes onto tobacco products may ultimately persuade some California residents to not smoke or to search for an alternative. In contrast, many people in the vaporizer community believe taxing vapor products along with tobacco products would be an immense mistake. Ultimately, new taxes on vapor products in the state of California may do more harm than good and prevent current smokers from considering a more affordable, smoke-free alternative like e-cigs.
A similar bill introduced by the state legislative last October, which would have also taxed tobacco and vapor products by $2, failed to pass. As one of the leading vaporizer companies, we are hoping the majority of California residents see the problem with grouping and taxing tobacco and vaporizer products as one in the same. An e-cigarettes or personal vaporizer is relatively new technology, having only been available for mass consumption for the past five years. There are so many people who still don’t understand vapor devices and that could lead to a lot of residents voting on a topic they aren’t informed enough to make an educated decision. If you live in California, we are urging all V2 customers to reach out to your local and state elected officials to voice your vapor support. In addition, help educate friends and family members by sharing this blog post on Facebook and Twitter.