Connecticut Gov. Malloy Wants 75 Percent Wholesale Tax on E-Cigarettes, Vaping Fluid

Connecticut spent too much money, and now vapers and small businesses have to pay the price.


John Woike/MCT/Newscom

Amid a bevy of proposed tax increases, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has called for a new 75 percent wholesale tax on electronic cigarettes and other vaping products—part of an effort to close a $3.5 billion deficit.

As you might expect, vape shop owners are not happy with the idea.

"Just do the math," Christine Mazzotta, who owns three vape shops in Connecticut, told the Hardford Courant. "A tax that high is simply going to push business out of Connecticut. It's going to close stores."

That's not just speculation. Pennsylvania passed a 40 percent vaping tax last year, and the law has decimated the state's vape shops—just as some of those same businesses predicted it would. Ten months after the tax was approved, more than 150 vape shops have closed across the Keystone State.

Now Connecticut's tax "threatens to close approximately 80 small businesses," Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, told The Daily Vaper, an online trade publication for the vaping industry. Those businesses aren't responsible for running up a $3 billion deficit, but they will pay the price for Connecticut's fiscal profligacy. Retailers worry that the tax will compel customers to purchase their vaping equipment online, shutting down as much as 90 percent of the state's nascent vaping retail industry.

Under Malloy's budget plan, released this week, the tax is expected to generate $4.3 million during the current fiscal year and an estimated $8 million in following years. Needless to say, those projections don't consider the possibilily that Connecticut vapers will simply stop going to vape shops and instead take their business online.

So the state will end with less tax revenue than anticipated, but at least it will also have driven a bunch of entrepreneurs out of business.

NEXT: Cities Need Mobility, Not Monopolies

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. What a lovely gift to tobacco outlets in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York.

    1. For about a year, until their state governments realize they could be raking in all that extra revenue. Christ, what a realm of assholes.

      1. I guess in the end it’s really more of a gift for online vape shops and cigarette smugglers from Virginia.

        1. That could change if the dems succeed in flipping the Va assembly in November. Tobacco (and now vaping) is for progtards what weed/gay sex is for social conservatives.

      2. Realm of Assholes was definitely my favorite D&D Plane.

  2. “Once you take away what people want, then they won’t want it anymore” – Every retard that ever advocated for gun control and drug control.

    1. this was the slogan of the anti-saloon league in the 1910s and that sure worked out well

  3. Putting the tax on wholesale transactions so the source of the price increase is hidden from the retail customer, sort of clever in an evil way, I suppose.

    1. Similar logic to payroll taxes.

  4. More taxes? I see he’s still trying to get the Democrat nomination…

  5. part of an effort to close a $3.5 billion deficit.
    the tax is expected to generate $4.3 million during the current fiscal year and an estimated $8 million in following years

    I have never met a prog who could do math. In fact, most have a mortal fear of it.

    1. I wonder how much those 80 small businesses that may close pay in taxes to CT, a state that ran GE away into Taxachussettes.

  6. There is no such thing as an ‘e-cigarette’
    Cigarettes are tobacco products, used by burning actual plant tobacco. (and possibly, a few well chosen adulterants)
    Vapor generators have no relation to tobacco at all. While they MAY be using a fluid that contains some nicotine, they are in no way a tobacco product.
    While governments are free to tax whatever the hell they can get away with, they cannot truthfully say a vapor generator is a tobacco product.
    Not that the truth is relevant here, but just so I feel better.

    1. There actually are e-liquids available now that contain nicotine derived from other nightshade plants such as eggplant and tomato leaves, but it won’t matter to the anti-vaping dolts-if they say it is, it must be.

    2. Who cares about truth? The filthy peons found a way to indulge their nicotine habits in a way that gets around the anti-tobacco crusaders, they must be punished!

  7. The only thing worse than vapers is the heavy hand of government strangling the freedom from my fellow Americans.

  8. Connecticut, ensuring that more people die of lung cancer in the name of fiscal responsibility and social signalling. Nice.

    Finally an instance where the Remy video of “people will die” wouldn’t be ironic or sarcastic.

  9. One week after the largest leak of SSNs, Reason finally gets to talking about Equifax. No real analysis. No comment on the libertarian way of making the company responsive to the populace. No soul searching on this being a (rare) example of the markets failing is. Just a link or two in “Hit and Run.” Slightly better than ignoring it alltogether, but not by much.

    I’ve come to expect confirmation bias and similar B.S. from brainless dems and republicans. But for a site that advocates “open minds,” this is disappointing. We need to be able to look honestly at situations that challenge our prior assumptions.

  10. According to the CDC, some 480,000 people in the US die from tobacco related deaths each year. 480,000.

    Vaping is not tobacco, and does not cause any of these.

    And yet it is has been deemed “bad” by anti smoking crusaders, and deprives the State Funded “1-800 quite lines” of potential participants. There do not seem to be any reliable figures as to how successful these programs are, but from what I can gather the rates of people stopping smoking is between 15 and 18%. It is known that less than 50% of the nations 44.5 million smokers even attempt to utilize them.

    Vaping is regarded as attractive to children, and is believed to be a possible “gateway” to tobacco use, and therefore is evil. There is absolutely no data to support this, and in fact vaping is a safe alternative to tobacco, but that does not seem to matter. Vaping is bad, and programs need government funding.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.