As Vapers Organize, Legislature Scrambles to Impose New E-Cig Tax – ‘Compromise’ Proposal Even Higher Than the Original

Plan Emerging in House Would Quadruple Price of ‘Vaping’ – Could Snuff Fast-Growing Smoking Alternative

By Erik Smith
Washington State Wire

Dennis Hobart of Rainier, Geraldine Alvord of Buckley and Eva Hobart of Rainier take a 'vape break' on the Capitol steps Saturday.

Dennis Hobart of Rainier, Geraldine Alvord of Buckley and Eva Hobart of Rainier take a ‘vape break’ on the Capitol steps Saturday.

OLYMPIA, March 10.—E-cigarettes, the come-from-nowhere issue of the year, seem to have prompted one of the strangest “compromise” proposals in state legislative history. Lawmakers eager to slap a whopping tax on the burgeoning biz started with a plan that would have doubled the cost of “vaping.” Now they are floating what they call a compromise plan – which would quadruple it.

Maybe it was just a big stupid goof, but it shows that the new thing in nicotine is perhaps the least-understood innovation around – a way of delivering nicotine without the harms associated with cigarette-smoking. Yet because the product has some sort of relationship with smoking, some lawmakers argue that vapers ought to be taxed just like smokers – through the nose. An early proposal would have imposed a 95 percent tax. Now, in a bid to pick up votes, a new proposal being floated in the 2014 Legislature’s final days aims to cut that in half. But in the rush to draft a bill it appears that sponsors missed a key detail – and instead of cutting the proposed tax, they tripled it.

“I think clearly it shows they don’t understand the industry,” says lobbyist Stu Halsan, who represents the newly formed Washington Vapes trade association – an organization of vape-shop owners and manufacturers formed in frantic haste in recent weeks when it became clear lawmakers would attempt some sort of move against the business. “The FDA is looking at what to do with this product,” Halsan says. “Taxation at this point is more than premature.”

It is one of the more curious debates that has taken place in the Legislature – precisely because there hasn’t been a debate. The issue really isn’t about taxation, but rather about whether e-cigarettes ought to be discouraged or celebrated as a matter of state policy. It is the sort of question that – if anyone considered it worth thinking about at all — normally would be routed through health-policy committees, studied by public-health officials and pondered by experts. Instead the tax bill popped up a couple of weeks ago in the House Finance Committee, got a quick vote, and now appears to be on a fast track to the House floor. And it is one of a hundred such bills that will get the quick-gavel treatment in the waning days of the 2014 legislative session, which ends Thursday.

Should lawmakers impose a tax so punitive that it would wipe out the business just as it is taking hold? A business that seems to be accomplishing what generations of government anti-smoking campaigns have not? These are the kinds of questions that shouldn’t be decided in a rush, says state Rep. Dick Muri, R-Steilacoom, one of the Legislature’s biggest vape-biz boosters. “This is more than a nice little tax,” he says. “This is a humungous tax. The power to tax is the power to destroy.”

Rush to Tax

Vape-shop worker Jason Carnahan of Vancouver (behind cloud) carries a sign that makes a point about the 75-percent tax proposal.

Vape-shop worker Jason Carnahan of Vancouver (behind cloud) makes a point about the 75-percent tax proposal.

E-cigarettes, if you’re new to the issue, really don’t have much in common with traditional cigarettes. They use a small battery-powered charge to vaporize “juice” that generally contains some level of nicotine – a cleaner and purer way to inhale, avoiding the carcinogens present in cigarette smoke. First seen on the market a decade ago, e-cigarettes have boomed over the last couple of years, encouraging some 300 specialty shopkeepers across the state to open their doors. The trade has stimulated the development of an entire new industry in supplies and equipment, at this stage dominated by small-business operators. Of course health has something to do with it, but part of the reason e-cigs have been such a potent competitor for regular smokes is the level of taxation. Right now the business pays the same taxes everyone else does – sales taxes at the cash register, business and occupations taxes on gross receipts. So e-cigs are cheaper.

Yet most lawmakers don’t see a difference between e-cigs and smoking. Tobacco products are taxed right now at a level that aims to get people to stop, at the same time that the tax generates enormous revenue for the state. House Finance Chair Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, argues that because e-cigs are a nicotine delivery system just like cigarettes, the state ought to take the same dim view. His tax measure, House Bill 2795, awaits action on the House floor. Meanwhile in the Senate, there is talk of letting the bill pass in return for a tax-break bill desired by the upper chamber — the extension of a research and development tax credit that is scheduled to expire. It is one of those issues that will be decided when the final budget deal is unveiled, sometime in the next two days.

Perhaps the biggest indication of the rush in which the proposal has been developed is the enormous goof that shows up in the latest version of the House measure. In a bid for votes, advocates have been suggesting that e-cigarettes ought to be taxed at half the rate of cigarettes — the standard split-the-baby-down-the-middle approach so common at the statehouse. But a striking amendment to HB 2795 that surfaced Friday, sponsored by state Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Sequim, doesn’t do that. Instead it sends the tax through the roof.

Big Math Problem

Bottle of 'e-juice,' equal to five packs of cigarettes, sells for about $12 retail. Proposed tax would add $28.85. Sales tax would be levied on top of that.

Bottle of ‘e-juice,’ equal to five packs of cigarettes, sells for about $12 retail. Proposed tax would add $28.85. Sales tax would be levied on top of that.

The original bill imposed a 95 percent tax on wholesale e-cigarette products, and the version of the bill that passed out of the House Finance Committee last week cut it to 75 percent. The striker takes an entirely different approach. It imposes a tax of 8 cents per milligram of nicotine on products that contain nicotine – not counting the gum, patches, and other stop-smoking nostrums that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. What people are forgetting is that milligram measurements are by-the-milliliter, Halsan says.

So a tiny little 15 milliliter bottle of Marlboro-strength vapor-juice that now costs about $12 – about the equivalent of five packs of cigarettes contains 360 milligrams of nicotine. It would be hit with a tax of $28.85. Sales tax would pyramid on top of that. So when you consider that a pack of Reds costs about $9 these days, or $45 for five, there would really be no price difference at all. The big cost advantage that has encouraged thousands of ex-smokers to invest in costly “vaping” apparatus would be no more. There goes one of the biggest incentives to quit. Vapers tell Washington State Wire the cost advantage has done what generations of health warnings have not. “The cigarettes I was smoking cost me about $10 a pack,” says vaper Eva Hobart of Rainier. “Whereas this is seven dollars and lasts me for five days – as well as getting the cigarette smoke out of my lungs that was there for so many years.”

Gut-Level Reaction

Senate Minority Leader Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island.

Senate Minority Leader Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island.

The quick acceptance of the e-cigarette tax seems to have more to do with gut-level reaction to smoking than with the product itself. What official discouragement has come so far has been based on the old paradigm: The Washington State Medical Association has come out against it, for fear children might take it up. And some lawmakers say the old way of thinking ought to apply. “From what I am understanding about e-cigarettes, they are not a means, right at this point, to stop smoking,” Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson told reporters Monday. “Basically, a lot of them are heavily loaded with nicotine, and when you look at the progress we have made at getting kids not smoking in this state, I don’t want to have another product that will hook more of our youth. I grew up with two parents who smoked heavily, eight packs a day between the two of them. I mean, it is not something we want to reintroduce in a new type.”

Those stone walls that separate the Capitol from the world are mighty thick. The protests are just beginning. At a rally over the rainy weekend, some 250 vapers showed up on the Capitol steps – rather less than the thousand that organizers had hoped for, though the downpour might have had something to do with it. Nevertheless they engulfed the Capitol in a cloud – and one that posed none of the risks of secondhand smoke.

Vape-shop worker Dennis Alvord of Buckley says he wonders if the Legislature is planning on taxing vegetables. They are nicotine delivery systems as well. “Cauliflower has nicotine, broccoli has nicotine. So let’s go crazy and just start taxing everything. Tax the air we breathe – because that has more junk in it than this stuff does.”

One Percent of the Harm

State Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Olympia.

A tax he doesn’t like: State Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Olympia, addresses crowd on Capitol steps.

The tax plan seems to be shaping up as a partisan issue: Biggest support is on the Democratic side; Republicans are trying to decide how far they want to take their opposition. They note that the tax would strangle a promising business – something their side of the aisle is generally loath to do. And they say they have been astounded by the way the vapers have quickly organized themselves for political action, a fair percentage with the sort of tattoos and nose rings one does not generally see at the Capitol. They are likely to become a political force if the Legislature pushes them, says House Floor Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm. Surveying the crowd, he said one of the big lessons he has learned is that the Legislature looks for easy targets. “There is this constant search for who we can tax more, and in general what they do is find an unpopular group or people who aren’t organized, and especially people who don’t have a paid mouthpiece to come down here and fight for them. That’s what they thought was going to happen – and it didn’t.”

Then there’s the fact that no one has demonstrated harm. Muri, who appeared at the rally, says that as a member of the Pierce County Board of Health he initially wanted to regulate vaping out of business, but he had second thoughts when he began researching the issue. Nicotine is perhaps a little more harmful than caffeine, he says – which is to say, not very. “Smoking itself has been a huge harm to society; the nicotine was never the thing that was harmful. I’ve seen some analyses that say vaping is less than 1 percent of the harm of cigarette smoking. We need to promote it, to get people to quit the really bad habit, which is smoking.”

But perhaps the strongest endorsement of the vapers came from one of the staunchest progressives at the statehouse, state Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Olympia – the lone Democrat who voted against the measure in committee. He admitted it’s kind of unusual to see a liberal Democrat come out against a tax. He told the crowd that his mother had died of lung cancer, something vaping might have prevented. He said tobacco taxes hit the poor disproportionately. But what convinced him there was a tax he didn’t like was real-world experience. His 40-year-old brother-in-law finally managed to quit smoking after 25 years, after trying patches, gum, everything — when he picked up an e-cigarette. Saved him $250 a month. He used the money to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

“How was he able to afford that?” Reykdal asked. “Because he is vaping. That is why. What do those of us in this Legislature say to somebody who did everything we wanted you to do? We wanted you to stop smoking. We wanted you to save costs. We wanted you to have more disposable income and we wanted you to support small business. We wanted you to buy your own health care plan. He did all of that and now the answer is sorry, we want to tax you some more. No way. No way. Not going to happen.” 

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  • Laurie procida

    As a non smoker, I completely support the effort made by this group to propose a viable option to clear the air and hopefully everyone’s lungs. This would be a grave mistake by killing vaping.

  • Killer Broccoli

    Vegetables are not nicotine delivery systems. That’s the strangest assertion I have ever seen reported! Broccoli doesn’t have nicotine in it! It has thiocyanate, which can create a nicotine false-positive but is a healthy chemical that combats disease.

    • StormFinch

      He may have gotten the vegetable wrong, but some vegetables do indeed contain nicotine. Plants from the family Solanaceae all contain various amounts of nicotine, from 100 ng/g in eggplant to 4.1 ng/g in ripe tomatoes. The New England Journal of Medicine has published several studies on it. Broccoli and it’s thiocyanate content can however cause a false positive on a cotinine test when eaten beforehand.

      • Erik Smith

        You know, I have heard, though, that tomatoes contain nicotine.

        • kmcm

          They do. Which is why, if this bill passes, my 14 years old son can’t buy Pizza. You will have to be 18+ to buy it, also, if i buy some for my son, i go to jail with a gross misdemeanor.

    • RainyD

      actually if you do the research you will find that there are many veggies that have nicotine in them.

    • Dave Buckley

      Nicotine is, and can be found in multiple vegetables, commonly anything in the nightshade family. There was a study performed by the New England Journal of Medicine which outlines their findings on other naturally occurring sources of nicotine (aside from Tobacco). This study was performed in 1993, out of all of the items tested, Egg Plant was actually the highest.

    • jaydubnavy

      Eggplant has nicotine. Tomatoes, and therefore ketchup, have nicotine. The way this bill was originally written, it would tax all products containing nicotine and intended for human consumption. Based on that, it would have to apply to certain produce.

      • kmcm

        The poor poor Liquor Board. THEY are the ones who will have to enforce the 75% tax on tomatoes. Every grocery store in the state will be put under surveillance. Note, if you look at the fiscal report on this bill, you will not see any amount allocated to the LCB.

  • asmith1234

    The vampires in our government will use any excuse to steal money… that’s the only thing this is about. If it wasn’t e-cigarettes, it would just be something else that they’d come up with an excuse to tax. We, the people, need to face the fact that organized criminal mobsters have taken over our government. Oh, and I don’t know why the paper is reporting this is a Dem for, and Rep against. When I pulled up the original bill, I think it was 2 republicans and 3 dems sponsored the bill. Bipartisan thieves and no different than a two headed snake.

    • Anne Kennedy

      Exactly. We need to stop them dead in their cigarette butt tracks too.

    • sem6x3ag

      This is what the anti-smoking & anti-ecig crowd doesn’t understand. If everyone would quit they would go after another thing.

      • Angel Tibbs

        I understand. If they get away with demonizing e cigs, they will see it as a mandate and attack obesity next, while the McDonalds remain open for your business

  • Kathleen O’Connor

    Do you know why that even after decades of anti tobacco campaigns, big warning labels and general moralizing still hasn’t stopped people from smoking?

    Something better.

    When an elected official’s ignorance gets turned into written legislation, there is a whole lot wrong.

  • Anne Kennedy

    There’s likely a group of lawmakers that have been influenced by big tobacco and big pharma as well. The vaping “will” cut into these giant corporations profits, the vaping will cut into the government tax coffers – why? – Because vaping is working in helping people like me get off a 40 year cigarette habit. Big pharma put’s nicotine in gum and patches but we cant have it for our vapor without tax? Really? Why not? We know why not. It’s not a tobacco product! It’s water vapor.

    • skyerider

      Actually, Big Tobacco is on ghe side of thd vapers in fighting this tax.

      • Angel Tibbs

        Only because they are trying to steal the vaping business from its true creators, the vaping community. They are the reason FDA proposed regs tax everyone but Big Tobaccos cigalikes out of existence. Their Blus and such have lousy battery life and wont get smokers free of cigarettes completely, so if they bury the competition with expensive regulation, they will be the only ones producing vapor products and we vapers will be hitting the black market rather than give another red cent to Big Tobacco.
        All this over a product that is 99.9% safer than smoking and completely safe for bystanders. These nannies need to go.

  • Brandon Dudley

    wow. wouldnt be bad to tax 8 cent per milliliter. but this is ridiculous.

    • Angel Tibbs

      They are losing lots of money due to smokers switching – not quitting, but switching to vaping to manage their nicotine addiction (far more exactly than tobacco cigarettes: do they list how much nicotine? They dont) and that costs alot of money in sin taxes. Cigarettes deserve sin taxes. Vaping doesnt . It is marketed, not to children, but to smokers (26% of American adults) who could quit no other way. Theyve tried all the Big Pharma nightmares. Theyve been shamed and taxed and shunned. But they never could quit smoking, not with all Big Pharmas expensive remedies, which ALSO use nicotine over the counter, PS. And they have an inhaler. (A crappy overpriced one that delivers nicotine on its schedule, not yours).
      So instead of being ecstatic that the problem of smokers early painful deaths from cancer, COPD, heart disease and emphysema (who I lost a grandpa too – his last words to my dad were Tell my grandkids not to smoke. – and we all lost a grandpa, or a grandma, or a friend, to those diseases, usually exhausting their life savings in the process.
      All vapers want is reasonable regulation as a Reduced Harm Device, such as methadone, et al, but not at sin taxes vaping has not earned by fact or science…or results :)
      We just want to live healthier lives with a drug of our choice: nicotine. For example I, a 53 year old grandma who vapes raspberry and blueberry, never became an alcoholic, not from lack of opportunity but it just wasnt my poison. Nicotine is, and vaping harms no bystander, not even a parrot. Or if nonsmokers politely asked, or we politely asked, we could vape instead of blowing harmful stinky smoke and everyone would get along.
      Also, if the Zealots see this as a mandate, and win this BS one sided fight, they will be coming after obesity next (after all, its unhealthy) and keeping McDonalds in business. We want Big Tobacco out of business, and it is going through withdrawal as we speak……

  • StormFinch

    Word just received from individuals advocating against the bill that it was a tobacco lobbyist that put this particular bug in the bill sponsor’s ear. It makes perfect sense in that that this wouldn’t greatly effect big tobacco produced vaping supplies, since they only sell small, less than 1 mL low nicotine cartridges and refills, while it would destroy the small business owners who sell the higher content and quantities that most adult vapers rely on. Great way for big tobacco to eliminate the competition, all courtesy of your elected officials.

    • Angel Tibbs

      Vape on, StormFinch

  • Spazmelda Whee

    This is ludicrous! Even assuming there was some health related reason to tax the nicotine (and there isn’t according to research so far) a tax of 8 cents per milligram is preposterous. Cigarettes contain about 10 mg of nicotine each (only about 1 mg is absorbed when they are smoked). With 20 cigarettes/pack there are about 200 mg of nicotine in a pack of 20 cigarettes. A tax of 8 cents per milligram for cigarettes would equal approximately $16/pack. Not even New York collects that much tax on cigarettes. It is absolutely bone-headed to suggest taxing electronic cigarettes using this method.

    Furthermore, recent studies show that absorption of nicotine from ecigarettes is quite a bit lower than absorption from cigarettes. Dr. K. Farsalinos recently showed in a study published in a Nature journal that electronic cigarette users absorbed 1/4-1/3 the amount of nicotine as a combustible cigarette in 5 minutes use.

    Please, if you don’t understand something at all, learn a little more before you decide to tax it out of existence.

    Additionally, perhaps Ms. Nelson should think of all the current children of smokers. Denying their parents a safer alternative that might allow them to quit smoking or at least avoid some of the potential health consequences seems cruel, immoral, and unethical. If electronic cigarettes had been invented a few decades ago, how many fewer children of smokers would there be in this country? I appreciate the desire to keep children from beginning the use of nicotine, I really do, but let’s think of some way to pursue that goal without punishing adults who have found a gateway out of smoking.

    • Angel Tibbs

      As a grandma (my adult kids never smoked…or got a finger on my cigs or lighter in a 36 year habit) I love your reasoning about the children having to live with smokers. Now that I vape, my daughter doesnt shy away from me when I sit down beside her, and I never even noticed till she DIDNT do it.
      I did think to remind the Quit or Die zealots that virtually all smokers STARTED as children. (Average age seems to be 14), and if Big Tobacco dies a well deserved and final death, their products will not be around to poison any of us.
      Smoking is profitable to the wrong people and, ironically, those agencies who claim to be protecting us are losing money over smokers quitting.
      And Dr. Farsalinos rocks! Other suppressed yet accurate and recent scientific studies of e cigarettes can be found at, just click on the Science tab.
      Gee, ex smokers whove tried every failed NRT were smart enough to research something before putting it into their body?

  • Ed Strenko

    by all means, make it just as expensive… and we’ll go back to smoking cigarettes as it’s no longer saving us money.

    • sem6x3ag

      Not me. I’m sticking it to them and quitting everything. They will see no easy money from me.

      • Angel Tibbs

        Me either. They need to go

  • Josh

    Not a bad article. My biggest concern with this .08 cents per mg per ml is that this is just an outright tax on a tax on a tax and so on. THERE is NOT 360MG of nic in a 15 ML bottle. I am friends with and help make juice for vapors. The flavorless nic we use is a 100mg base. THERE IS NO WAY that you can add a 100mg base to liquids that contain no nic at all and double or triple the amount of nic you started with. Someone needs to point out that people cant do basic math. There for they should be kicked outa office for lack of basic math skills. the MG of nic in a bottle is based on volume. Please tell these guys to go back to school, that way we can have people in office who can actually think for themselves and for the welfare of others and not just about whats best for their pockets

    • Spazmelda Whee

      It’s mg/ml. Milligrams per milliner. 15 ml x 24 mg/ml = 360 mg total. 100 mg base is actually 100 mg/ml.

      • Spazmelda Whee

        Milliliter, not milliner, lol.

  • Jonathan V Hanson

    We’ve got to quit putting these people back in office. They will learn that they can’t get away with this sort of taxing. Sharon Nelson should be the first, but you know what, she will probably be reelected. When we don’t care enough to vote, this sort of thing happens.

    • Angel Tibbs

      Not only that, but if they win in persecuting vapers, they will see it as a mandate and come after fatties next. After all, it is unhealthy, and presents a bad impression – thats what they just legislated on in Oregon, instead of actual peoples healthier adult choice to live and not harm those around them

  • Jill Cleven

    My message to senators and house representatives,

    E-cigarettes have helped me to quit traditional cigarette smoking after 35 years. I have tried every form of stop smoking products from the drugstore which were useless and had huge amounts of side effects. I have not had bronchitis or any other smoking related problem for the past 2 years and previously these kind of illnesses were regular probl…ems for me. NO more coughing for hour in the morning or for hours in the evening and my daughter was ecstatic about my switch to the e-cigs. She has never wanted to smoke as we had discussions while she was growing up about how challenging it is to quit these habits. I believe all parents should have the conversation with there kids about these topics. My daughter additionally would not choose to use an e cig also because of the nicotine. By unfairly banning or sin-taxing a product that has been ultra successful in assisting people in making a safer choice by vaping aren’t you sending the wrong message to smokers that the ultimate goal was not to save lives and improve health but to raise funds by taxing an already overtaxed group of citizens (smoking sinners) name based on how they are treated in society already? I request that the government use sensible science and rational when considering regulations on these type products when they have never considered over taxing the nicotine products that don’t work from big Pharmaceutical companies.. I am a regular voter and wish to have my voice heard and know many others who feel the same about legislation being placed on products that they simply don’t have a clue about. Additionally would the government prefer to get me back on cigs so they can keep overtaxing me for my sins and get me back to the old health issues I used to have? Please do the research before making judgments’ on these products.

  • Matt Zukowski

    It’s sad when reasonable adults act like children. First we have the assertion of concern about children using e-cigarettes. This is a legit concern. Then we have the assertion that we should do something to keep it out of the hands of children. This is a legit assertion. Then it jumps the shark and the assertion is let’s treat it like cigarettes, which is what youth already experiment with in epic numbers. Then it gets frankly loony when the assertion because let’s price e-cigarettes the same as cigarettes to protect the children. This would only make sense if you wanted children to continue experimenting with cigarettes.

    The fact of the matter is kids who experiment with cigarettes typically grow up to be adults that become habitual users with only a 50% chance of quitting before their death and in the process causing an insane level of harm to themselves. For these people we need to get them off cigarettes as quickly as possible and lower cost alternatives adds intensive to what is already incredibly difficult. What about the children, well, nicotine gum is considered to be an acceptable risk, so acceptable it’s given to children freely. So why do e-cigarettes suddenly become an unacceptable risk when neither product has long term safety data?

  • G..y

    Have sent letter of opposition to all three of my district Senators and was astounded by their responses, blatant stupidity.
    This is from Darneille whom I supported during her election, and now regret.
    I didn’t realize just how ignorant she is. Below is her reply to me and note a couple things, one of my points besides closing down all the start ups here in WA and those employees going on unemployment, costing the state she says there will still be a health cost impact for the state and that this is a source of revenue for the state.
    Well just that last statement is what it’s really all about, not children, gateway smoking devices or health it’s greed.

    Senator Jeannie Darneille
    27th Legislative District
    Thank you for your email about the proposal to regulate e-cigarettes. The bill has not yet received a hearing in the committee to which it was assigned (Ways and Means Committee) however, a similar bill (HB 2795) has been introduced in the House, and has passed the House Finance Committee. The House budget proposal also assumes the revenues from excise taxes of e-cigarettes in its projection of available state revenue.

    I appreciate the argument that states should hold off on regulation and taxation until the FDA has had the opportunity to determine an appropriate scope of regulation. And, I appreciate, but do not believe, the arguments of many people that this is a healthier alternative to tobacco. In fact, there will be an increase in negative health outcomes that will be expensive for the state to manage. At this point in the negotiations between the Senate and the House budget, I have limited opportunity for input. Both houses have passed a version of the budget, and are negotiating the differences with the goal of reaching consensus. At that point, the budget comes back to the members for a yes or no vote.

    Again, thank you for your advocacy.

    “I do not believe this is a healthier alternative” Are you kidding me, this is the kind of replies you’ll get from people who have never smoked, stupidity.
    I’d love to light up a real smoke right in Senate Chambers and let them get a dose of that and then hit the e cig and see which they prefer, idiots.
    P.S. If you think I’m going to waste my time helping her to get reelected again, well I don’t think so!!
    I smoked for 48 years and had to stop because I needed a major spine surgery and the smoking would impede the healing and I could end up paralyzed and I have tried hundreds of times to stop using everything including hypnosis, acupuncture you name it.
    First time I used a e cig, I nearly stopped immediately but it still took a little bit of work on my part but eventually I became smoke free.

    • Angel Tibbs

      I have been a lifelong democrat (and I am 53 and smoked for 36 years) and I love vaping raspberry and blueberry flavors, stepping down from 12 nic to 06 nic this week. Cigarettes just arent that accurate or specialized: and just look at what else they are legally allowed to put in them.
      Only Rush Limbaugh and that vaping guy on The Five told the truth about e cigs! So whatever I am now, I am the voter who will ask what a candidates position on vaping is before electing him/her.
      And when I sent my comments to my reps and senators, I added P.S. I voted for you :)

  • G..y

    One last thing, if you want to know where these Senators are coming up with these thoughts on E Cigs you really need to look at this power point that was shown to the Senate and all the other nuts in Olympia, there is the power point and the audio that goes with it, here are the links..
    Scroll down to electronic cigarettes and look for the links to the power point and a separate one that was the lady explaining the stupidity, it will piss you off.
    Here’s what your looking for,
    Webinar Archive of E-Cigarettes: A Path to Policy, Perspectives from Local and State Health Departments,
    presented by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
    and the National Association of County and City Health Officials,
    01/21/2014 – Webinar presenters discussed: policy efforts on a local and
    state level addressing e-cigarettes; the current status of the FDA in
    regards to e-cigarette regulation and its implications; examples of
    policies specifically addressing e-cigarettes; resources available to
    help state and local efforts. Click here to listen (YouTube) to the webinar recording and here to view the Powerpoint slides
    Had to edit that address to MRSC electronic cigarettes as this site won’t allow net addresses.

    • zenmasterv

      I’m moving to another state.

      • sem6x3ag

        Unfortunately, its monkey-see, monkey-do. Once one of them does it, the rest will follow.

        • Angel Tibbs

          Thats why we need to fight now for our right to a healthier harm reduction alternative. We the People who arent corporations solved this problem. Check out or Vape Team Media online. I find it reprehensible what agencies entrusted with the public health are trying to do to smokers in the name of public health – wait. Money they receive for a problem they cant solve, paid them by a settlement with a death dealer thats still in business….
          They need to go out of business. Vape shops are true small businesses, the American vaping industry is just as innovative as any tech company that upgrades phones, i pads, laptops and many other adult toys so quickly the FDA can only regulate from prehistoric 2007. Can you imagine how much creativity and innovation that would negate?
          Vape shops give local people jobs, make smokers healthier, and healthier to be around, and dammit people arent supposed to solve their own problems without paying US to solve them! (Says Big Pharma, who has never solved this problem.)
          God bless and vape on!

  • Tamara

    The government want people to stop smoking (taking away rights). So people try by using Vapors E-cigarettes but that’s not good enough so the government wants that to stop (communism). Where is the hand smacking on alcohol? Where is all the opposition on drinking? You know why they are advertising alcohol because everyone even the people at the top drink it. People don’t kill people because they are drunk on cigarettes, they kill people because they are drunk on alcohol. Why doesn’t American’s understand what the United States is becoming, a communist nation. We are slowly losing our rights just like the leaders of our nation fight for others NOT to lose. FREEDOM is what the Unites States used to he valued for. Oh wait don’t eat vegetables they contain nicotine.

    • Angel Tibbs

      and theyll come for the fatties next, after they bury the smokers who had the audacity to switch to a healthier alternative and quit buying cigarettes (why are these still on the market? Why dont they think of the children, which most smokers started as?
      Once I started vaping, even liking science fiction, Ive learned things that make me shudder and I know Im not a Democrat anymore
      Actually, I would vote for anybody who supported my right to a healthier choice, and if they vaped? Would be a plus

  • Holly Hutter Diaz

    One of the things many of you are missing is, if nicotine is the issue, then the patch, gums, and cessation products approved by the FDA and promoted by the medical doctors should also be taxed to the hilt. This proposed taxation of the ecig movement is pushed by big tobacco at the moment. The reason is, they haven’t gotten into the market with their own version of the products yet, so they want to stall the current manufacturers in keeping a foothold in the market. Also, how do you tax an non-nicotine juice? There are hundreds, maybe thousands like myself, that by just the flavors with no nicotine at all. How are you going to tax something that is not currently monitored nor regulated by the FDA nor has been deemed as harmful? You can’t. The liquid itself is readily available for purchase. You can actually get recipe’s of the 3 main chemicals that make the juice and make your own. You have to have a license and approval from the FDA to purchase nicotine since it is considered a monitored and controlled substance in large amounts. So, apparently, the FDA has approved it’s manufacture in the past or it would not be made in the US and sold in smokeshops and convenience stores. So, why are they trying to control it now? Because BIG businesses that have controlled the market are losing money and have yet to monopolize the market. Several big companies and pharmacies are in the process of trying to buy several manufacturers so they can own the control of their patents. It has nothing to do with tax and everything to do with control and big business.

    • Angel Tibbs

      You are correct…except this is happening all over the world, with all the same villains Big Pharma and Tobacco and corrupt legislators and soulless health experts paid well to lie to and frighten the public and suppress true facts about vaping. They KNOW, but they dont want YOU knowing, because they dont care.
      Vote them out. They need to go.

  • Angel Tibbs

    And this is why I became a Republican, after being a lifelong Democrat, when I became a vaper.
    The health agencies controlled by Big Pharma are losing money when smokers quit. Contrary to the hype, e cigarettes target NOT children, but hardcore smokers who were unable to quit with traditional NRTs (fun fact; the patch contains the same amount of nicotine as e cigs, and you can get that over the counter) shaming (yes, we smokers know weve been cast out into a despised sub class, even though around 22% of American adults smoke, and this number has NOT changed in spite of all the shame and taxing) cold turkey or being taxed into the ground and sent outside to shiver in the rain.
    Reps Muri and Reykdal are right: vaping does not claim to be a cure, although it sometimes works that way. It is Tobacco Harm Reduction, an idea that works brilliantly by disassociating our fix of nicotine from the taste of ashtray, and it poses absolutely no risk to bystanders.
    Unfortunately, that isnt good enough for the Quit or Die crowd, who dont really seem to care if smokers live or die if it was not THEM who solved the problem. Big Tobacco, who came late to the party, (after smokers quit and cost them money) is actually trying to claim they came up with vaping (why would they?) and are firmly behind the FDAs deeming regs that cast this innovative industry back to the prehistoric date of 2007 – so that only Big Tobaccos ineffective cigalikes (the ones that look and taste like cigarettes are NOT what vapers want, and keep folks using real cigs too, because the battery and nicotine delivery from cigalikes are lame) will be left standing after truly punitive regulations no true small vaping business can afford to pay – over a harmless product that has never once been factually proven to be even close to burning tobaccos harmfulness.
    As Rep Reykdal accurately noted, the vaping industry is many small businesses employing local people all over the state, country and world, and our side of the story – even though we are the voters and consumers most affected by this legislation – is seldom told by bought and paid for mainstream media, so our enemies – considering they want us to go back to smoking and die, I consider them enemies – are seldom telling the real story to the lawmakers or, worse yet, bribing them to spread misinformation.
    Vaping needs some tax and regulation, but NOT on the order that the PROVEN KILLERS, cigarettes, still on the market, are taxed at. Since vapers couldnt quit in any other way, if these are taxed out of existence and/or rendered ineffective, it will be like prohibition all over again, for the simple fact that VAPING SAVED OUR LIVES.
    And, in the name of Quit or Die, the Democrats appear to want to punish us for that. So as a vaper, a voter, a consumer and a grandma, I will vote for anyone who lets me continue to save my own life with the nicotine I am addicted to, without harming anyone else.

  • Avrumi

    They miss the revenues from the cigarettes. They don’t care about our health. They want our money. Same with gasoline taxes. The more hybrids on the road the more they raise the taxes.