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Utah wants to tax ecigs at same rate as cigarettes

Utah isn’t usually thought of as a groundbreaking state, but they’re the first to consider taxing electronic cigarettes at the same rate as tobacco cigarettes. A proposal in Utah’s legislature would levy an 86 percent tax on e-cigs, which is the tax currently applied to traditional cigarettes; that equals $1.70 per pack of tobacco cigarettes. It would be difficult to come up with a legitimate equivalent for e-cigarettes, but estimates are that a $20 purchase of eliquid would cost an additional $17.20 in state tax.

The sponsor of the legislation, GOP representative Paul Ray, claims that companies are trying to market ecigs as nicotine replacement therapy (which of course, they aren’t). Ray also claims, without citing any proof, that “they’re peddling stuff that they know absolutely will kill people. This is an industry who kills their clientele.”

Analysts say the measure would mean an extra $1.6 million dollars in revenue for Utah; there are no predictions on what prospects are for passage of the proposal.

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