Should Vaping Be Taxed At The Same Rate As Cigarettes?

Should Vaping Be Taxed At The Same Rate As Cigarettes?

Vaping is a relatively new phenomenon in most countries.  As such, there aren’t tax laws around vaping in most parts of the world. Even in the U.S where vaping has grown exponentially, there aren’t any laws on its taxation. It’s only recently that Connecticut lawmakers introduced a bill seeking to impose federal taxes on vaping. As vaping becomes more commonplace, such bills will increase all across the world. It’s just a matter of time. Therefore, at this point the big question isn’t whether or not vaping products should be taxed, but whether they should be taxed at the same rate as cigarettes. Cigarettes are among the most overtaxed products in the world. The goal of these punitive taxes, is to disincentive cigarette smoking due to its harmful side effects, such as a high risk of cancer. So should vaping be taxed at the same rate as cigarettes? The answer is a resounding NO. Here’s why.

1.    Vaping can help cigarette smokers quit

Most people looking to quit smoking can’t do so drastically. The withdrawal effects can hinder them from engaging in any productive activities. For such people, the best way is to take in small amounts of nicotine, until they are in a position to quit completely. Vaping allows them to take this gradual approach to quit. As such, since the whole idea of punitive cigarette taxes is to discourage smoking, it would not make sense to impose punitive taxes on something that can help in this process. Vaping should be taxed at a rate that encourages it, as a strategy for discouraging cigarette smoking. In fact, if scientific research proves that it can help smokers quit, it should be incentivized through subsidies.

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