Senate Democrats Nix a Regressive, Unhealthy Vaping Tax Endorsed by the House

The perverse provision would have discouraged smokers from switching to a far less hazardous source of nicotine.


Senate Democrats have nixed the idea of imposing a new federal tax on nicotine vaping products, which would have disadvantaged a potentially lifesaving alternative to cigarettes and violated President Joe Biden's pledge to avoid raising taxes on American households that earn less than $400,000 a year. The Wall Street Journal reports that Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D–Nev.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, "pushed to remove the tax," which was included in the House version of the Build Back Better spending package, and "helped force its deletion."

House Democrats originally proposed a $100.66 excise tax per 1,810 milligrams of nicotine in e-liquids, which would have added about $60 to the cost of a high-strength 60-milliliter bottle containing 18 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter. For some products, retailers reported, the tax would have doubled or tripled the retail price. The same proposal also would have increased the federal excise tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products, yielding an estimated $96 billion in new revenue over a decade.

Last month that proposal was replaced by a plan to tax e-liquids at $50.33 per 1,810 milligrams of nicotine, still a hefty levy that would have substantially increased the cost of vaping. And unlike the earlier plan, this provision would not have boosted federal taxes on cigarettes, so it would have reduced the comparative economic appeal of vaping and raised only about $9 billion over a decade.

Supporters of the nicotine tax portrayed it as a "public health" measure, aimed largely at deterring underage consumption. But it would have discouraged current smokers from switching to a far less hazardous source of nicotine, resulting in more tobacco-related deaths. The increased cost also would have encouraged former smokers who are now vaping to switch back to a much deadlier habit.

"There is no valid reason to impose new taxes on tobacco-free nicotine products, particularly at a time when American families are feeling the impact of rising inflation," Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, said in response to the provision. He noted that House Democrats were perversely "aiming to make smoke-free alternatives more expensive than smoking."

Cortez Masto did not mention the public health implications of the tax, focusing instead on the provision's inconsistency with Biden's promise. Last month she described the proposed levy as "a regressive tax on the very people that we're trying to cut costs, cut taxes on." Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.), who in November said the nicotine tax "doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever," likewise did not mention the harm-reducing potential of vaping products. Neither did Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D–Ariz.), who also opposed the tax.

Michelle Minton, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute who follows tobacco policy, welcomed the decision to eliminate the vaping tax. "By dropping the nicotine tax from the Build Back Better bill," Minton said in a press release, "Democrats have averted a public health disaster. Imposing a tax increase on safer nicotine products would have failed to meaningfully address youth vaping and, worse, would have discouraged adult smokers from switching to life-saving alternatives, particularly among lower-income Americans. Generating revenue off the increased misery and poverty of predominantly lower-income Americans is no way to build back better."

In an August American Journal of Public Health article, David J.K. Balfour and 14 other leading tobacco researchers warned that "policies intended to reduce adolescent vaping," including taxes and flavor bans, "may also reduce adult smokers' use of e-cigarettes in quit attempts." They emphasized that "the potential lifesaving benefits of e-cigarettes for adult smokers deserve attention equal to the risks to youths."

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  1. Chris Wallace has finally decided to leave Fox News! You'd never guess where he's going to work next!

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    2. And just like that, he'll raise the average credibility level on 2 networks.

    3. The DNC, now paid directly?

    4. Bye bye Fox, hello no ratings.

      1. It was coming anyway....the $Billion lawsuit of them trying to blame the lost election on the vote counting machines. Listening to an insane (See Mark Meadows book) demented man hardly ever turns out good.

  2. Come on man... it's just a money grab. They don't care about your health.

  3. Democrats originally proposed a $100.66 excise tax per 1,810 milligrams of nicotine [but] that proposal was replaced by a plan to tax e-liquids at $50.33 per 1,810 milligrams

    One supposes they're Following The Science in all this.

    Seriously, where do numbers like these come from?

    1. Makes it more difficult to comply.

    2. My only guess is some metric/ounces conversion.

      1. Renminbi/dollar exchange rate?

        1. Maybe some congress critter is trying to convert a bribe into some useful medium of exchange.

    3. Assuming some minimal rounding on conversions, the tax would work out to $72 per scruple in the apothecaries' system of weights.

      I suspect there's a lot of old medicine-related laws and regulations that used sensible numbers in the apothecaries' system from back before medicine in the US went metric, and now the approximately metricated numbers have been used for decades as benchmarks when drafting new ones.

  4. What about muh spittin’ tobaccy?

    1. Did you know that, in the entire American economy, that's the only item that has risen in price? And by only $0.10 per pouch?


  5. Impossible. The Senate is incapable of making a good decision.

    1. Accidents happen.

  6. Tweets should be taxed because they are unhealthy. What do you think $1 per tweet?

    1. TDS!!!!!! TDS by gad!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. 8.364 cents per consonant, 13.712 cents per vowel, 16.442 cents per emoticon, $41.10 per hashtag.

      1. Can't we just ban emoticons?

  7. That's surprising. Regressive taxation is entirely consistent with the modern Democratic Party's status as the party of the reasonably wealthy (Wall Street and Silicon Valley workers) and ultra-rich (movie stars and tech billionaires).

    Oh well. At least the #BidenBoom will continue concentrating wealth at the very top with or without a vaping tax.


  8. Democrats did a good thing... the partisan Republican reason dot com commentariat gives no shits. you people are so predictable

    1. Democrats avoided doing a bad thing and lefty shit losers predictably lie about it, lefty shit loser

    2. BTW, lefty shit loser, take a look at this:
      "...House Democrats originally proposed a $100.66 excise tax per 1,810 milligrams of nicotine in e-liquids, which would have added about $60 to the cost of a high-strength 60-milliliter bottle containing 18 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter..."
      And then those in the senate opposed the added tax. Real heroes, those Ds, right, scumbag?

    3. Do you often praise people for not doing what they shouldn't do? And the democrats that proposed it get a pass why?

    4. You cannot propose to do bad things then demand credit for being stopped from following through. WTF is wrong with people like you?

  9. Stop making and increasing new taxes. Start cutting programs and drop taxes.

  10. So the Democrats nixed the tax, so I suppose the FDA will now be imposing a regulatory fee of, oh, I don't know, $100.66 per 1,810 milligrams of nicotine?

    1. 10% goes to the big guy.

  11. Nice to see there are a few democrats still who aren’t completely retarded-sadly they are a small minority in a party that has gone batshit crazy

    1. For the most part, office holding democrats should be euthanized.

      1. Sounds a lot like a threat.

      2. I prefer they simply fuck off and die, like my preference for whatever steaming pile of lefty shit is posting just above.
        I want nothing to do with their demise, other than mentioning that it would be a great improvement in the world's condition and intelligence.

    2. Cheap, legal drugs is part of their appeal to young, stupid voters. I think that’s more political strategy rather than sanity.

  12. Dunno what pop-up vid anyone else is getting, but the one in the lower right of my screen is claiming "Democrats are scaling back major parts of [droolin' Joe's pork] bill"
    As was pointed out to the lefty shit loser above, admitting that they are fucked is not 'doing a good thing', it's self-preservation and nothing else.

  13. Not possible. Everything Democrats to is wrong. This fact does not exist.

    1. Jobless claims lowest since 1969. Economy growing fastest since 1961. Biden 5 million jobs created compared to a negative -3,003,000 from Trump, worst since Great Depression. Trump has drank too many Diet (Dementia) Cokes and his brain is almost eaten all away. Meanwhile WSJ cites jobless claims lowest in 52 years. US ranks 13th in infrastructure in he world...BBB will replace ALL lead pipes. Economy growing faster than in 60 years (1961).

      1. Judging from your post the price of crack hasn’t gone up.

        1. But the cost of "escorts" is killing me.

      1. I try my best....this place is hard to please.

    2. Democrats literally proposed the tax dumbass. You want applause for them not following through w 100% of democrats? And you're not a lefty why?

      1. My point was ,,,,it makes no sense giving tax cuts to the rich. They just just buy their own stock and/or give themselves bonuses thus creating no jobs. Cutting taxes for middle class creates jobs because they buy stuff, economics 101, which is how Bill Clinton balanced all HIS budgets. Reagan did the opposite, proving that trickle down does not work.

  14. OH! OH! Looks like steaming pile of lefty shit-storm!
    Fuck off and die asshole(s).

  15. I’m giving up weed and Mexican butt sex for vaping. Anybody recommend a specific vaping brand?

    Actually, sounds like a good listener question for the podcast.

    1. Mexican butt sex stumped google?

    2. Just go to Zyn pouches. Less annoying than water vapor.

  16. When you tax something, you get less of it. So, let’s tax productive labor instead! We want less productive labor in this country! — every Democrat

      1. Ah, I see, behold "white supremacy" at work! /sarc

        You people can't even get your own propaganda straight.

        But, you know, the fact that oppressed, forgotten people in abject poverty vote for Republicans gives me hope, because these people understand that government (and in particular Democrats and progressives) don't give a f*ck about them.

        You sure don't.

        1. It is amazing your ability to judge someone from one post. Maybe I can change your opinion with how charitable I am compared to Trump. I had a small percentage taken out of my checks for numerous years. I don't know how much it amounted to but I know that it amounted to more than Trump since he had his charity taken away from him for not giving to cancer children or literally no one.

  17. Watch it! We've stirred up lefty shits, undoubtedly making asses of themselves yet again!
    Tired of seeing the same lies time after time; the only one asshole left un-muted is turd so I can paste the honest comment regarding his lies. Every time he posts. Any of you are welcome to steal that and apply it to your choice of the the steaming piles of lefty shit
    Steaming piles of lefty shit? Yes, every one of you assholes!
    Fuck off and die.

  18. Perfect is the enemy of better. And the Senate got it correct. Wait, wut? That second sentence must be a typo. Must be going back to conference to get a bigger tax increase or more payoff of big business.

  19. But since the FDA has only approved the sale of one nicotine vapor product (made by RJ Reynolds) out of several million different vapor products currently on the US market (that FDA has not yet removed from the market because doing so would sharply increase cigarette sales to millions of exsmokers who now vape instead), the elimination of the Democrat's cigarette protecting vapor tax proposal may not provide any benefit (except for RJ Reynolds).

  20. "In an August American Journal of Public Health article, David J.K. Balfour and 14 other leading tobacco researchers warned that "policies intended to reduce adolescent vaping," including taxes and flavor bans, "may also reduce adult smokers' use of e-cigarettes in quit attempts."

    In the PROGHIVEMIND, Feature, not Bug.

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