As you know I vape and I have 2 small ejuice brands that I have made in a lab that a business partner of mine runs. That being said because I care about vaping and it’s positive impacts it has had directly on people’s lives that I care about I tend to follow the news on what is happening.

Currently all vape devices and liquids (ejuice) are subject to the standard sales tax rate of all other items in retail stores. Right now since Cook County and Chicago are so far in the hole financially they are trying to fill that budget gap by gouging people that vape.

Here is what they are proposing:

Cook County is proposing a $0.20/ml tax on all liquids
Chicago is proposing a $0.25/ml tax on all liquids ON TOP OF THE COOK COUNTY TAX.

This means that if you buy a bottle of juice in Chicago you will be paying $0.45/ml in taxes on top of the price of the juice and sales taxes. For example the Equinox line that I launched a few months is a 120ml bottle for $35. With those new taxes that $35 bottle just became a $89 bottle of juice. The county and city are literally making more money off the juice than my lab, the distributor, and the shops that actually put the work in to sell the juice. This is absolutely infuriating.

Taxing legislation like this is only going to push people back to cigarettes that will just end up in more health problems and deaths from tobacco use. Not to mention that this will literally put all these shops (especially the ones in Chicago) OUT OF BUSINESS. Most of these shops are run by small business owners and they have said they will not be able to keep their doors open. On top of all that you are going to have people making juice on their own and selling it on a “black market” or sorts.

What can you do to stop this? You can CALL your aldermen and representatives and tell them that YOU DO NOT SUPPORT THIS. Explain WHY you do not support this and what negative impact it will have on the community. I have included information from the CASAA website here so you can get in touch with the right people.

Please also take a moment now to send emails and make phone calls to county commissioners. We have provided contact information and talking points below.
Cook County, IL
Board of Commissioners
Dist.
Commissioner
Phone
Email
1
Richard R. Boykin
(312) 603-4566
[email protected]
2
Robert Steele
(312) 603-3019
[email protected]
3
Jerry “Iceman” Butler
(312) 603 6391
[email protected]
4
Stanley Moore
(312) 603-2065
[email protected]
5
Deborah Sims
(312) 603 6381
[email protected]
6
Joan Patricia Murphy
(312) 603-4216
[email protected]
7
Jesus G. Garcia
(312) 603-5443
[email protected]
8
Luis Arroyo Jr.
(312) 603-6386
[email protected]
9
Peter N. Silvestri
(312) 603-4393
[email protected]
10
Bridget Gainer
(312) 603-4210
[email protected]
11
John P. Daley
(312) 603-4400
[email protected]
12
John A. Fritchey
(312) 603-6380
[email protected]
13
Larry Suffredin
(312) 603-6383
[email protected]
14
Gregg Goslin
(312) 603-4932
[email protected]
15
Timothy O. Schneider
(312) 603-6388
[email protected]
16
Jeffrey R. Tobolski
(312) 603-6384
[email protected]
17
Sean M. Morrison
(312) 603-4215
[email protected]

 

Comma delimited email list:

 

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

 

SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS

 

1) Ostensibly, taxes on traditional cigarettes are intended to discourage use. However, due to the fact that e-cigarettes and other smoke-free tobacco products are estimated to be 99% less harmful than smoking, discouraging use is counter to goals of reducing smoking rates.

 

2) Other governments are taking exactly the opposite approach; Public Health England (the government public health agency) recently explicitly endorsed a policy of encouraging smokers to switch to e-cigarettes and vapor products (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/e-cigarettes-an-evidence-update).

 

3) Sin taxes are regressive. The smoking population, those switching to vaping, is disproportionately made up of poor and low-income people. Sin taxes place unnecessary burdens on an already financially challenged group.

 

4) Imposing a tax on these products will drive consumers to shop in neighboring counties that do not have a similar tax. Concurrently, consumers will be encouraged to shop online for better deals, sending even more money out of the community. Local businesses will not be able to compete, be forced to close their doors, and jobs will be lost. This is bad for the county and will result in less revenue, not more.

 

5) It is important to note that vapor products are already subject to a general sales tax.

 

6) Taxing e-cigarettes in a manner similar to how cigarettes are taxed sends a confusing and inaccurate message to would-be adopters that these two very different products present similar risks.  The result of this message is that more people, those that otherwise would have switched to a smoke-free product, will be encouraged to continue smoking.

Sources:

http://blog.casaa.org/2015/09/chicago-il-local-alert-oppose-extra.html

http://blog.casaa.org/2015/10/cook-co-il-oppose-e-cigarette-taxes-in.html

http://www.cookcountyil.gov/2015/10/14/preckwinkle-presents-fy-2016-executive-budget-recommendation/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-emanuel-budget-town-halls-0825-20150824-story.html

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-chicago-electronic-cigarette-tax-met-20150910-story.html