Vaping: Don’t punish improved behavior with increased taxes

Read the full article: Clarion Ledger
Author: Marc Hyden, Guest ColumnistPublished 4:03 p.m. CT Feb. 20, 2019 | Updated 4:03 p.m. CT Feb. 20, 2019

Discouraging cigarette smokers from switching to safer products is like dissuading people from using seatbelts: It will result in widespread, negative public health consequences. Yet a recently drafted bill in Mississippi would do just that.

Sen. David Blount, D-Hinds recently filed SB 2537 which would impose a special new tax on alternative nicotine products, including e-cigarette liquids. The impetus of Sen. Blount’s bill is not entirely apparent, but it may be connected to a news conference held by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood last year, where Hood expressed concern that too many minors are vaping. In response, he suggested that the state treat certain, less-harmful alternatives to traditional cigarettes — including e-cigarettes — no differently than any other tobacco products.

Vaping isn't harmless, studies show.

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