The revised plan would subject e-cigs to an additional 17% wholesale tax.
“Vapor has filled a space in Ohio that teenagers are clearly being attracted to..” said Sen. Matt Dolan (R., Chagrin Falls), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “The reality is it’s not coming down from tobacco. It’s an ability for kids to get addicted to the nicotine in a vapor product. If we’re going to be able to discourage its use and help regulate it, it needed to be part of the taxing authority.”
The budget is expected to undergo more changes and a final version must reach Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk by June 30th. Vaping products and other e-cigarettes are already subject to a retail tax, ranging between 5.75% to 8%, depending on whether they are purchased in Ohio or not. If approved, the revised Senate plan would subject the devices to an additional 17% wholesale tax.
In 2018, the state of Ohio launched a campaign called “Tobacco 21” encouraging cities across the state to raise the minimum age for tobacco sales to 21.
“Tobacco 21 laws are an important step in protecting the health and safety of youth – and entire communities. By raising the age for tobacco, other nicotine products and paraphernalia to age 21, we can reduce approximately 90% of new smokers from even starting the dangerous and addictive habit in the first place,” reads the campaign’s website.
The executive director of Tobacco 21, Katherine Ungar, said that raising the minimum purchasing age could help keep tobacco products out of the hands of minors, as eighteen-year-olds are more likely to be involved in high school social circles than 21-year-olds. “It is extremely important that we are not addicting our kids,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Ohio Vapor Trade Association (OHVTA) has explained that vaping products are “made by adults for adults to solve a problem that started when they were underage — to eliminate the 18 to 20-year-old group from being able to use this product, to get off of tobacco, we are actually doing public health harm.”
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