Cigarettes

States Target E-Cigarettes With Taxes

Because discouraging a safer alternative to smokes is brilliant

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GREENVILLE — Like many other businessmen across the country, Jason Hagan of Greer thought the idea of starting a shop that would sell electronic cigarettes was a good idea.

So he plowed his life savings into the Vapor Room Cafe and opened its doors last month.

Lawmakers in the state House, though, want a piece of the action and are moving ahead with a bill that would levy a tax in addition to sales taxes on e-cigarettes for the first time.

"It's really going to mess up my business," he said. "I have my life savings in this business. It's helped a bunch of my customers stop smoking cigarettes. The electronic cigarettes are my main business."