The following is an editorial from the Standard Examiner (www.standard.net) touching the sensitive topic of taxing e-cigarettes;
I have never smoked a cigarette or anything similar, but I do not condemn or condone those who do. I have a son who now uses e-cigarettes instead of smoking, and I am very grateful that although they may not be perfect, they are definitely not nearly as harmful as cigarettes.
There was a hearing last week in the State Legislature on the bill to regulate and tax these products. When asked for studies or documentation to defend his position, Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, could not produce any. When asked if these were even tobacco products, no one could answer that question either.
But Ray has declared that they are. It was amazing how much Ray did not even seem to know about the product his own bill was trying to regulate and tax.
I wonder if his whole bill is based on what seems to be his prejudice against those who smoke, or is this really just about money? Not just what they can make on the tax, but to supplement what they are losing on the cigarettes that are not being sold because so many people are vaping instead of smoking.
Ray can declare what he wants to do, but that does not make it true. This is a very good tool that people are using to quit smoking. We are not going to help anyone if we tax them away from these products.
If we want to tax something because it causes health problems, how about fast food? You and I both know that a greasy hamburger, although it tastes good, is not good for anyone. But that would be a tax that everyone helps pay, not just those “other guys.”
- Ali Esmaili