Bill that would raise tax on e-cigarettes stalls despite show of support by students

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SALT LAKE CITY - A bill that would have raised the sales tax on e-cigarettes has hit a standstill.

House Bill 333 would have created a significant tax increase on the devices, more than an 80-percent hike.

However, it got snuffed out Thursday.

It didn't die but was tabled to an interim committee despite a strong showing of support from about 200 high school students in favor of the tax and bill.

Those opposed to the bill called it a low blow.

"Utah is traditionally conservative, we're opposed to taxes and committee members are aware of that," Shilo Platts said, with the Smoke-free Alternative Trade Association. "They understand taxing a product won't do anything to reduce the amount of kids using the product. We do not support the idea of minor children using tobacco products or vapor products."

"Yes, e-cigarettes are tailored to you," he said. "22,000 kids across Utah use e-cigarettes regularly so yes, this is a youth health issue."

A main supporter of HB 333, Rep. Paul Ray, said he was disappointed and that Utah has been studying this for four years so it is time for a vote.

Even though this bill was sent back to interim for more study, Rep. Ray said there is a chance it could reemerge before this session is over.

2 comments

  • Tim Jenson

    E-cigarettes aren’t a tobacco product, in fact a couple e-juice companies don’t even use tobacco to get the nicotine used in their e-juice, but get it from eggplants and other plants. The other lie is that big tobacco is some how involved with e-cigs. In fact their against vaping because it’s taking away from their business. Big tobacco only makes up 2% of the market, most vaping manufactures prior to e-cigarettes didn’t have anything to do with big tobacco. So 97% the market is controlled by small mom and pop stores and e-juice companies with no link to big tobacco. SO STOP WITH THE LIES! THIS PRODUCT IS SAVING LIVES. The British Government came out officially stating that vaping is 95% safer than cigarettes. Why in the hell would you want to deprive adult smokers of a life line that will save lives? Enough with the lies. Nicotine isn’t what is killing people, it’s that other chemicals in cigarette smoke that does. You don’t hear anybody wanting to ban nicotine patches or gum do you? Nicotine isn’t good for you, but it’s a far cry from other carcinogens found in tobacco smoke that aren’t found in vapor.

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