If the cigarette is already considered a revenue source for the state of Kentucky, it appears that vaping is about to become one too. The state of Kentucky in the USA is planning to tax this new device.
This new tax plan adds to the list of previously taxed activities. Such activities include laundry services and bowling, and now also the sale of vaping products. If up until now only tobacco was affected by taxes, the state of Kentucky is planning to increase revenue thanks to the new tax plan. While cigarettes are taxed 50%, vaping devices will only be taxed 15%.
With this new tax plan, the electronic cigarette is effectively being considered a tobacco product. We are far from achieving the objectives envisioned by the philosophy of vaping, which is supposed to be the opposite of smoking traditional cigarettes.
The distinction between tobacco and e-cigarettes still up for debate
Jason Bailey, director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, suggests these new measures call into question the potential harmfulness of e-cigarettes. According to him, such a measure does not illustrate the existing difference between tobacco and healthier alternatives. On the contrary, it creates confusion by associating e-cigarettes with traditional cigarettes.
This new tax proposal, however, was conducted with the approval of a professor of medicine, Doctor Brad Rodu. He believes that the different tax rate for e-cigarettes versus tobacco highlights the differences in the two products. According to him, this tax plan “encourages [consumers] to purchase safer products”.
However, those in favor of vaping devices do not see the proposed tax in the same light. They believe that it minimizes the benefits of turning to a more reliable alterative to tobacco. In these people’s eyes, there should be no tax at all. It seems like we have a long way to go until the e-cigarette is adopted as a legitimate and completely different alternative to tobacco.