The electronic cigarette is moving ahead with full steam for each individual state. The question remains the same – more money, health concerns, or both? As the legislative season is rapidly approaching, so is the issue of the e-cigarette. The most important aspect of the e-cig is figuring out how to classify, regulate, and the tax this new product.
Dealing With The Electronic Cigarette in 2014
The main issue that seems to be questioned frequently is whether or not to consider the e-cigarette as a “tobacco product”. If the e-cig were classified in this category it would be subject to all of the rules and regulations that apply to a traditional tobacco product. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said “It’s going to be fought out in 50 states; it’s going to be found out in one jurisdiction after another.” DeWine was responsible for being the head author for a letter written to 40 attorneys general to the FDA for encouraging federal rules and for the e-cig to be considered as a “tobacco product.” At this time there still is not a procedure implemented about how to handle this issue because of the government shutdown.
The one issue that makes all of the states remain on the same page is money. Each state is hungry for any additional revenue that can be detoured to their way. Taxing the electronic cigarette will be one of the most important issues to be dealt with. In 2012 Minnesota was the only state enforcing a specific state tax policy for e-cigs. Minnesota expects to collect approximately $1.16 billion from all of the tobacco taxes for the 2014-2015 year. This is quite an extreme tax, but at least 30 other states are considering some form of tax like Minnesota’s.
In the meantime federal officials in Washington will likely be the ones that will come to some type of agreement about the dispute regarding electronic cigarettes and taxing. The FDA will also be a
strong force for determining if e-cigs are classified as tobacco products.
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