Gov. Jay Inslee will be signing several bills today, including one that allows a new tax on vaping products. The money will be used to fund cancer research and tobacco cessation and prevention efforts. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins talked about his reporting on the subject with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.
Jenkins reported that the new tax — 27 cents per milliliter — will be imposed on so-called “closed” vapor products such as JUUL pods, a form of e-cigarettes. “Open” vapor products, which are refillable and often sold in vape shops, will be taxed at a discounted 9 cents per milliliter — or $9 per 100ml bottle of vape liquid sold.
“If you’re not familiar with these products, it’s a little hard to wrap your brain around,” he said. “But one thing to consider is that up until this goes into effect, for these products, consumers have been paying basic sales tax.”
Some shop owners are saying this is going to be harmful to their business, Jenkins added.
The American Cancer Society has praised the bill for the research money being set aside. But they are less enthusiastic about the prevention effort, arguing the tax is too low.
Listen to the full conversation above to hear more about this issue, the additional provision granting a reduction in the state’s existing tobacco tax, and other bills getting Inslee’s signature today.