Democrats introduced the Tobacco Tax Equity Act of 2021 to reduce tobacco use in the United States.
WASHINGTON — Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin, Ron Wyden, and U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, and seven others introduced a bicameral form of the so-called Tobacco Tax Equity Act of 2021.
According to the office of Sen. Durbin (who serves as the majority whip), the bill would reduce youth tobacco use by closing certain loopholes in the tax code that the tobacco industry has long exploited to avoid certain regulations and taxes for their products.
The bill would also apply tax parity across tobacco products, including establishing the first federal e-cigarette tax and increasing the tobacco tax rate for the first time.
Some public health experts claim that the price of tobacco products is the “single most effective way to reduce tobacco use, especially among youth.”
“Tobacco-related disease accounts for one out of every five deaths in America, and I know that story firsthand,” said Sen. Durbin in a press statement.
“Data shows that the most effective strategy to prevent children from starting this deadly habit is to price it out of their range. This bill would help reduce tobacco and e-cigarette use by ending loopholes that the industry has exploited to target our children. If America can kick its nicotine addiction it would go a long way to improving our public health for generations to come.”
Durbin and Wyden introduced the bill in the Senate with other sponsoring Sens. Patty Murray, Sherrod Brown, Jack Reed, Jeff Merkley, Richard Blumenthal, Ed Markey, and Mazie Hirono, reports the office of Sen. Durbin.
“Loopholes in our tax code continue to favor big tobacco while the American public, especially our youth, pays the price,” said Rep. Krishnamoorthi.
“The Tobacco Tax Equity Act increases taxes on cigarettes and finally imposes taxes on the e-cigarettes hooking our children on nicotine, which would generate billions of dollars in federal revenue. As a father of a high schooler and middle schooler, I’m determined to make sure we end the youth nicotine and vaping epidemic.”
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