You might say vape store owners are burning mad. Even though they offer an alternative to smoking, they are caught in a bill that raises the tobacco tax on smokers up to $1 per pack. Some vape liquids contain nicotine; and some don’t. Many customers use them to quit real cigarettes.
“No it’s fair to people who are looking to quit smoking. To make this less affordable, then people are less likely to use this as an alternative to smoking, and to use it to quit smoking,” said Jessica Fisher, co-owner of Vintage Vaporium in South Charleston.
Store owners worry,if the taxes go too high, customers will go online or out of state for vaping products. Delegate Larry Faircloth opposes the tax, too. He vapes, and said he tried every technique to quit cigarettes, but only vaping worked.
“And within 6 months I was nicotine free. And the products have been deemed 95 percent safer than smoking. So I am adamantly opposed to this,” said Del. Larry Faircloth, (R) Berkeley.
But others who support the tax, say there are more effective ways to quit smoking.
“Nicotine replacement therapy. We have that from the medicine side of it. But there needs to be counseling usually, other wise there is a relapse. So if you are just trading cigarettes for vape products, you’re still addicted to nicotine,” said State Sen. Ron Stollings, M.D. (D) Boone.
“The vaping issue aside, the other big dispute is over whether the tobacco tax should be 45 cents a pack, or a dollar, and whether the fight over money, may sink the whole bill, ” said Mark Curtis 13 News Political Reporter.