Vote No on HB864
Dear [Decision Maker],
As your constituent and an advocate for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, I am writing to urge you to vote no on HB 864 which would reduce the tax on products that have received a "modified risk tobacco product" marketing order from the FDA and tax e-cigarettes at a rate lower than all other tobacco products.
Only a few products have received a modified risk marketing order from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and we don't know yet who is using them. A reduction in tax rate is at best premature. By carving out separate definitions and lower tax rates for certain products the tobacco industry ensures that such products will be regulated differently. Public health policy should be driven and supported by policies and organizations with a proven track record of improving the public's health, not tobacco companies.HB 864 would tax e-cigarettes at a rate lower than all other tobacco products, which is a tactic right out of Big Tobacco's playbook. The tax also doesn't apply to all e-cigarettes, leaving countless products available at inexpensive prices youth can afford.Regular and significant tax increases on cigarettes and all other tobacco products are one of the most effective ways to reduce tobacco use. It is important to tax all tobacco products at an equivalent rate to encourage people to quit rather than switch to a cheaper product as well as to prevent youth from starting to use any tobacco product. Georgia has the third lowest cigarette tax in the U.S. at 37 cents per pack. Because Georgia's current tobacco taxes are so low, the state is burdened with $3.18 billion in annual health care expenses directly caused by smoking. And, e-cigarette use among our youth is rising at epidemic proportions. The solution to this problem is not to lower the tax on any tobacco product but to raise it.
I urge you to vote no on HB 864. Big Tobacco created the current youth tobacco epidemic and we can't trust them to come up with a solution that benefits anything other than their bottom line.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]