Dear [Decision Maker],
I was pleased to see the legislature is considering taxing e-cigarettes--it is long overdue. That said, I have concerns as to how HB 73 wants to tax these dangerous items. As you are aware, the current tax on other tobacco products (OTP) is 20% of their wholesale price. As such, the proposed rate for taxation of e-cigarettes is significantly LESS THAN the tax on OTP at 20% of wholesale price. The bill must be amended to also tax e-cigarettes as a tobacco product at 20% of wholesale price. It is important to tax all tobacco products at the same rate because cheap tobacco products are appealing to youth and thus, pose a danger of exacerbating the e-cigarette epidemic. The legislature must make sure this statute defines e-cigarettes as tobacco products in a comprehensive manner to ensure they cover all current and future products.It's not an accident that e-cigarette use by high school students increased by 135% nationwide from 2017 to 2019. In addition to selling and marketing their addictive products, tobacco companies and their allies continue to lobby hard to ensure these products are not regulated by evidenced-based tobacco control policies. Tobacco companies and their allies have created the problem, it would be foolish to trust them to fix it.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]