CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Lawmakers in Ohio are putting finishing touches on the state’s budget proposals for the next two years and one proposal is to tax vaping products at 17%.
It’s just a proposal at this point, and amendments could still be added or changed as soon as this week.
State Senator Matt Dolan, a Republican representing many of the suburbs in Cuyahoga County, is the Senate Finance Chairman.
According to an AP article published by U.S. News & World Report Dolan said, “He’s concerned that vaping has filled a niche in Ohio that is attracting teens.”
Vape industry leaders in Ohio are not happy about the possibility of being put in the same boat as cigarettes.
“They do both deliver nicotine, however with vapor you do not get the harmful constituents and carcinogens that you get from a cigarette,” James Jarvis said, who is president of the Ohio Vapor Trade Association (OHVTA).
“Nicotine is classified the same as Caffeine, they are both stimulants.”
While the proposal is 17% for vaping, cigarettes in Ohio are taxed at a much higher rate.
The average cost of a pack of cigarettes in Ohio is $6.10, which includes a $1.60 state tax, and sales tax of $0.37 putting the tax rate at 32%.
“Increasing the taxes will only hurt the adults 18 and over, as they are the ones buying these products legally,” Jarvis said.
“An underage person who is getting these products legally, purchased by parent/guardian via Ohio Law, or through other means are not going to be deterred by this additional tax.”