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Vermont Vapers Lose Huge Tax Battle in House, Other Legislation Threatens State

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Vape shop owners in Vermont are afraid of a new excise tax that would effectively double the cost of vaping in the state, and rightfully so. NBC 5 reports that the legislation is “speeding through” the process, and the 92 percent tax on devices and liquid cartridges could deter smokers who are trying to break the smoking habit.

The tax bill has already passed the House 134 to 6 in early February and has moved to Vermont’s Senate. Additionally, legislators in the state are working on Tobacco 21 and a law that would ban internet sales of an array of vaping products. A bill was introduced by Rep. George Till (D-Jericho) in early February to the House Committee on Human Services with a purpose “to prevent anyone from selling electronic cigarettes, liquids containing nicotine or otherwise intended for use with an electronic cigarette or tobacco paraphernalia in Vermont unless that person is a licensed wholesale dealer or purchased the items from a licensed wholesale dealer. It would also prohibit shipping these items to anyone in Vermont other than a licensed wholesale dealer or retailer,” reports the Rutland Herald. Till is also responsible for introducing the Tobacco 21 bill, along with Rep. Martin LaLonde (D-South Burlington).

Till told the Rutland Herald that he “hopes the Human Services Committee will have hearings and invite testimony from interested parties including the companies that make e-cigarettes.” He also plans to introduce further taxation along the lines of how cigarettes are taxed in the states.

A Tobacco 21 bill was passed in the House in 2016, but didn’t make it past the Senate at that time.

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