* Illinois News Network on a bill to hike the tax on vaping products to make it equal to tobacco products…
Danne Reinke, from the Smoke Free Alternatives Coalition of Illinois, testified in opposition to the bill Tuesday. He said the measure would tax vaping products at 36 percent. He said consumers can use vaping products to help quit smoking cigarettes.
A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Revenue said: “E-cigarettes and vapor products are currently assessed the general merchandise rate of 6.25 percent.”
“It’s bad public policy,” Reinke said. “[Vaping is] the leading cessation product.”
State Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, also had concerns about the measure.
“My biggest problem is taxing it as something it’s not,” Hutchinson said. “At its core, they’re not tobacco products. To tax them as something they’re not, it misses the opportunity. I’m not opposed to taxation, but we need to tax it as it actually is.”
Link said he’s open to continued conversation about the issue, but said there are real concerns.
“We have an epidemic going on,” Link said. “In our schools, we’re having a total epidemic with it. We’ve got to look at this in a different manner.”
“I’ve seen plenty of people who do stop smoking with vape products, but I also know we have a fear of the rising use among kids, so it’s complicated and I get that, but they’re not tobacco products so it’s hard for me to make that jump,” Hutchinson said.
* The Question: Should vaping products be taxed at the same level as tobacco products? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please…