State House For HB2593

Taxing e-Cigarettes Is A Never Ending Battle – The latest CASAA Urgent Call To Action involves the state of Massachusetts wanting to impose a 45% tax on e-Cigarettes. On June 25th, a few short days from now, there will be a hearing on HB 2593. I plan to be there and speak to the politicians. The following is what I plan on telling them.

Note* Spinfuel eMagazine has a tendency to speak to certain authority figures in less diplomatic ways then organization like CASAA. For that reason, and that reason alone, I plan on attending and speaking (if I am allowed to speak) as part of Spinfuel eMagazine. I do not wish to involve anyone, or any organization, because below is the speech I’ve written, but whether I stick to the speech or go off on someone…well, its been known to happen. – Julia

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Taxing e-Cigarettes is inevitable. They are, after all, a product being sold to consumers and are therefore subject to taxation. However, a 45% tax on e-cigarettes is not a sales tax, it is a punishment, and it is grossly unfair to every person in the state who has taken the responsibility for their own health by switching from dangerous and deadly tobacco products to something that is, at the very least, 100 times less dangerous. In fact, when all is said and done, when the dust settles on various studies, you can bet that the concern over e-cigarettes and health was widely overblown.

So, why are you punishing people who have taken such a positive step in their lives? Why are you continuing to see consumers of e-cigarettes as the bad guys?

Almost every day in this country, some township, some city, some state, rushes together some Bill that punishes people who choose to use e-cigarettes in order that they may increase revenue coming into the various coffers. Why are you all doing this? What is it about e-cigarettes or e-cigarette users that you find so offensive that your only recourse is to punish them with tax rates that are often 10 times the rate of the usual Sales Tax? Taxing e-Cigarettes is counter-productive.

I won’t bother to reiterate what has been said over and over about the efficacy and safety of e-cigarettes over that of tobacco cigarettes, I doubt any of you care enough about the subject to really listen anyway. If you did care enough to actually read what the experts are saying you would come to believe, as I do, as Spinfuel eMagazine does, that e-cigarettes are the answer to the tobacco problem in this country.

You should not seek to punish users of e-cigarettes by taxing e-cigarettes, you should applaud them, help them, embrace them with open arms. The net effect down the road on money saved in medical costs will reap rewards for the state 1000 times greater than your 45% sales tax. If you do not know this by now you haven’t been listening or reading up on the science of e-cigarettes.

By increasing the cost of e-cigarettes you are harming the very citizens who have hired you to watch out for their best interest. You are punishing everyone that wants to get away from tobacco and seek a healthier lifestyle. Surely you must understand that by making e-cigarettes more expensive you are driving more and more consumers to seek less expensive ways to obtain e-cigarettes. Mixing e-Liquids at home, switching from the “cigarette lookalikes” to mechanical mods is a natural transition for many people who use e-cigarettes and your 45% tax rate will simply move these consumers to this level of use faster than they would otherwise.

In the end, taxing e-cigarettes means you will drive businesses out of Massachusetts and into New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine, you will increase unemployment, cause more people to collect unemployment benefits, and the worst thing that could happen is that certain e-cigarette consumers will go back to smoking traditional cigarettes. Is this what you really want?

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I implore you to reconsider this foolish and greedy move to tax the only product that has been truly effective in the battle with tobacco and instead of seeking to punish consumers of e-cigarettes I urge you to learn the truth about the users and the product. To embrace the product, embrace the people in our state that use them, and celebrate the fact that more people, everyday, are leaving behind the dangers of tobacco and are looking to a brighter, healthier future. Why would you want to stop this by taxing e-cigarettes?

Do the right thing.

— end —

So, what do you think? Will it have any affect on the politicians? Would it make a difference if HUNDREDS of Vapers showed up at the hearing with similar messages?

Sound off below. Help me polish this speech; make it better, more effective. We have 4 days. Can HB2593 be defeated?

Julia Barnes aka Billy Jack!

CASAA ***URGENT*** (6/20/2013): H.B. 2593 will have a hearing before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Revenue on Tuesday, June 25th at 10:30 A.M in Room A-2 of the Massachusetts State House (24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA).  It is critical that all CASAA members in the New England area make an effort to attend and testify at this hearing.