The proposed legislation regarding e-cigarettes and other vapor inhalation items spurs debates among legislators and those who retail the items. The draft legislation would increase the state’s control over the legal smoking age as well as over tagging and promoting prerequisites and retailer licensing.
House Bill 1645 has a comprehensive approach to vapor-item regulation, as indicated by prime backer Rep. Gerry Pollet, D-Seattle, who claims this is the first holistic e-cigarettes bill in the United States.
Pollet who is also a clinical instructor at the University of Washington School of Public Health noted:
“We are facing a burgeoning public health crisis with e-cigarettes and we need to approach it as a public health issue and provide people with an understanding of safety risks. We also need to take very quick action to prevent our children from becoming addicted to this new product.
A 2013 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that more than a quarter-million adolescent who had beforehand never smoked, used an e-cigarette. Also, Washington State’s 2012 Healthy Youth Survey uncovered that four percent of tenth graders ‘smoked’ e-cigarettes during the 30 days of when the review was directed.
Taxing such items is a piece of Gov. Jay Inslee’s new-income package to help complete the financing needs for education. Inslee’s recommended budget for the 2015-2017 biennium estimates $18.1 million from a 95 percent tax on the wholesale cost of vapor items, which is designed after the state’s tobacco-item charge. This figure is expected to reach $78.4 million in the next biennium, as per Kim Schmanke, PR executive for the Washington State Department of Revenue.
The money gathered from this 95 percent excise tax on vapor items would be divide with 90 percent of the cash being allocated to the state general fund and 10 percent to a new general health service account. The bill draft requires the Department of Health to utilize the trusts for tobacco control and preventive campaigns.
Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Tumwater, accepts that there is an urging need to introduce vapor-item regulation from a wellbeing point of view. But Reykdal contended that making the educational systems more reliant on vapor items taxes as a funding source is not a smart public policy.
Also, Zach McLain, holder of Future Vapor on Capitol Hill in Seattle, noted that there’s no evidence vapor items impact users health in the way cigarettes do. He pointed out that should such a high tax be introduced, he would probably go bankrupt.
The Toxic Trends Report from the Washington Poison and Drug data Center registered a 1,000 percent expansion in call volume on e-cigarettes and fluid nicotine from 2012 to 2014.
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