Chairman opposes to proposed tax on e-cigarettes in New Jersey

While the passionate discussions surrounding electronic cigarettes are reaching boiling point, there are a fair few health experts and members of the public who are going against banning the devices in hope that they show their potential as a smoking cessation tool or healthier alternative.

The latest enquiry surrounding electronic cigarettes is to tax the devices the same way that conventional cigarettes are taxed. While many are in agreement, there are still a few remaining who believe that taxing the devices is a step in the wrong direction.

In New Jersey, Chairman Gay Schaer announced that he would not be supporting Gov. Chris Christie’s proposal to add a tax on e-cigarettes. NJ states that Mr Schaer and his fellow committee members – Republicans and Democrats – came to the decision to oppose the proposed tax after hearing a collection of speeches designed against the proposal.

Mr Schaer, an occasional user of the devices and a smoker, said, “You and your colleagues seem to have caught us in the spirit of bipartisanship. It seems that
both sides of the aisle find the governors tax pretty – not what we want. Your testimony, combined with so many others, has really given us a very important perspective.”

Christie proposed adding a tax to electronic cigarettes at exactly the same rate as conventional cigarettes at $2.70 or £1.63 per pack however; it was not made clear how the tax would completely apply to the devices. The budget would bring in an estimate of around $35 million or roughly £22 million per year. On hearing this, Schaer said that this income would “need to be found elsewhere”.

“We need to be aware as a legislative body that this governor has proposed the tax on e-cigarettes to the tune of $35 million. So although it may be this committee’s intention to recommend that not be in the budget, it will then be this committees responsibility to find $35 million with which respond with a balanced budget.”

However, despite announcing his strong views on the situation, sadly Schaer’s opposition does not entirely kill the potential of the proposal being called into action. Vincent Prieto, Assembly Speaker, has the responsibility to decide exactly what is to be put into the budget the Assembly passes.
Prieto said, “This is the beginning of the budget process. I could understand his comment for how overly-taxed we are in this state. This is something that will be taken into consideration and we’ll have a robust caucus discussion.”

How do you feel about tax being introduced for electronic cigarettes? Do you believe they should be taxed in the same way as conventional cigarettes?

If you’re a strong supporter of electronic cigarettes and want to show your support, please consider signing this online petition and spread the word! The petition can be signed by people in the UK and abroad and works to provide users of the device with a voice. Show your support today, we have.

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