Tag Archives: vape

Utah Vapers Could Face 86 Percent Tax Bombshell

By Guy Bentley – Utah vapers could be hit with an 86.5 percent tax on e-cigarettes if a bill proposed Friday passes the state legislature.

State Rep. Paul Ray introduced the bill HB333, which would tax e-cigarettes at the same rate as other non-cigarette tobacco products, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

E-cigarettes “are not taxed now because they are relatively new and they have never been put into the tax code, or into any code, as a tobacco product,” said Ray. “It has nicotine in it, so it is a tobacco product.” E-cigarettes themselves do not contain any tobacco.

Ray claimed that e-cigarette producers are targeting children with certain fruit flavorings and said 10,000 high school students had signed a petition in favor of the bill. Health officials attacked the rising level of advertising from the e-cigarette industry.

Ray’s bill would use extra revenue from the tax to improve health care in rural areas. Lawmakers also are considering using such a tax to help fund expanding Medicaid to people uncovered in Utah, mostly targeting poor, rural areas, Ray said.

E-Cigarette advocates told The Salt Lake City Tribune the tax was not only disproportionate but also dangerous. Shilo Platts, with the Utah chapter of the Smoke-Free Trade Alternatives Association, said “seeking a punitive tax on vapor products is the wrong approach. It’s time Utah embraced harm-reduction, instead of a regressive tax that pushes vapers back to combustible tobacco or one that creates a black market.”

The proposed tax rise comes less than a week after an Oregon Democrat introduced a bill to raise the retail tax on e-cigarettes and e-liquids. Rep. Phil Barnhart is sponsoring House Bill 4062 which raises the retail tax by an eye-watering 50 percent. (RELATED: Mapped: States Most Vulnerable To E-Cigarette Taxes In 2016)

But the e-cigarette industry aren’t the only ones fighting against the new taxes. Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) are a staunch critic of anti-vaping movement and has launched a new website Stope Vape Taxes.

 

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Scientist Exposes ‘Sham’ Methodology Linking E-Cigarettes To Smoking

By Guy Bentley – A Swiss study claiming vaping can lead to smoking and harms current smokers’ chance of quitting suffers from “fatal” flaws, and the paper’s conclusions are misrepresentative, according to a leading public health expert.

“We found no beneficial effects of vaping at follow-up for either smoking cessation or smoking reduction,” the authors conclude in the study.

But Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, has written a damning critique of the study, which was published in Swiss Medical Weekly. 

“The study fails to establish the baseline vaping status of each participant,” Siegel wrote. “To qualify as a true longitudinal design, the study would identify vapers and non-vapers at baseline and then follow both groups over time to compare changes in smoking status over the follow-up period.”

“Instead, the study measures – at follow-up – whether the participants had used an electronic cigarette any time in the past year,” he continued. “They could have used an e-cigarette for the first time the previous day, for example, and would still be considered as vapers in the analysis.” (RELATED: CDC Data Blows Away Popular E-Cigarette Criticism)

Siegel points out that the researchers don’t compare the changes in smoking behavior over time between vapers and non-vapers. The study only measures changes in smoking over the past year and whether the subjects had ever used an e-cigarette. So, in Siegel’s words, the “study methods do not allow the investigators to determine which came first.”

“Because it is a cross-sectional study, it is impossible to know whether the change in smoking status preceded the use of electronic cigarettes or whether the use of electronic cigarettes preceded the smoking status change,” he wrote.

This omission is critical, as it casts severe doubt over the claim that e-cigarettes are a cause of smoking initiation or failure to quit. The second fatal flaw is that the question used to assess vaping behavior only asked about ever use of e-cigarettes,” Siegel wrote. “It does not assess the frequency of use or its duration. According to the methodology, participants were merely asked whether they had ‘used’ e-cigarettes at any point in the past 12 months.”

But the term “used” was not clarified. Vapers, as defined in the study, included anyone who so much as tried one e-cigarette. “It is entirely possible that many of the participants who the study called vapers were actually not vapers at all, but merely people who had tried an e-cigarette,” Siegel added. (RELATED: CDC Admits, No ‘Concrete’ Evidence E-Cigarettes Are Gateway To Smoking

Siegel’s criticism comes soon after a meta-study arguing that e-cigarettes made it harder for people quit smoking received widespread criticism from health professionals, and was branded an “unscientific hatchet Job.”

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