Ban A Little Tax A Little
An increasingly popular, but alarmingly apathetic, opinion I’ve been hearing lately is being “ok” with little bans and taxes. I’m sorry I don’t have any more tactful words to express my view point on the subject. Saying that you are ok with laws that will only increase taxes a little, or only ban the use of vapor products in a few areas, is simply putting your head in the sand. Laws, once they are made, very rarely move backward toward liberty of the people unless they are challenged in court. When budget shortfalls affect legislative talking points, every tax is open to increase. It is incredibly easier to prevent a new law on the first go-around.
I’d like to quickly remind you of the rally for HB 1645 on Monday at noon at the capitol in Washington state opposing a decimating 95% retail tax, use ban, flavor ban and online sale ban. You can find information on the rally at https://www.facebook.com/pinklungbrigade .
Now, a bill as destructive as HB 1645 is going to garner attention from the vaping community, as it should! I hope every vaper, their friends, families and small businesses do as much as they can to let it be known how ludicrous and literally unsavory HB 1645 is, and how disgraceful it is to attempt to pass a law that will eliminate an entire industry from a state. But, if you were to take the flavor ban, the online sales ban away and reduce the extra 95% retail tax to a “modest” 5%, would this really be such a bad bill? I mean, you would only be increasing your order total by $.50 on a $10 purchase. Companies could continue to make just as many flavors that so many adult consumers enjoy. We could keep the ability to order from our favorite companies across the United States.
If you’re starting to be more agreeable to what I’ve mentioned in the previous paragraph, then you should think more critically. I’ve just done what many politicians do. They originally offer something so destructive that there’s no possible way that you could agree with me. But, I’ve lowered my standards to make it seem as if I’m offering an irresistible deal of the century. Did it make you forget about the sampling ban? While it doesn’t affect sales per se, it would largely influence your selectivity as a consumer. Imagine if you were just beginning to vape and you were to have to pay even $5 each time you would want to try a new flavor. Do you have $50 to spend trying new flavors when you could have spent that more wisely on one that will last you all month? Not to mention, Mt. Baker Vapor sends a free 5ml bottle of random or chosen flavored e-liquid with every order. You can kiss that goodbye with this bill. Did it also make you forget about the packaging requirements that businesses are scrambling to adhere to in other state?
Let’s also imagine a new vaper that comes in to purchase a $10 bottle of e-liquid, but now that bottle is $10.50 because of the new, more modest tax. The consumer reaches into his pocket and pulls out a ten dollar bill, and it’s all he has left until pay day. Well, he can no longer afford the 15ml of e-liquid. But, do you know what is less than $10 at the nearest convenience store? A pack of cigarettes is less than $10.
I’m completely in favor of business rights to choose whether to allow or disallow the use of any products that is not shown to be harmful to bystanders. If a place of business prohibits the use of electronic cigarettes, the consumer is allowed the opportunity to deal with it or take their business elsewhere. Then it is a choice of what is more important, vaping indoors or using their facilities. But, at least it is still choice. Let’s look at Illinois very quickly. In February this year, a bill was introduced to ban the use of electronic cigarettes everywhere traditional tobacco cigarettes are currently banned. After representative Kathleen Willis, who filed the bill, received a large amount of opposition and education on the subject, she has changed her mind on what the bill should include. The bill is purported to be amended to only include bans on school grounds and in state owned buildings this week. Rep Willis stated “…Everybody agrees that electronic cigarettes are a better alternative than regular cigarettes and we don’t want to discourage people from going and using electronic cigarettes.”.
I don’t know anyone that would oppose banning vaping on school grounds, but even banning use on general government property is a step in the wrong direction. The argument goes to whether the ban is implemented because of health concerns or simply based on ethics. Maybe, and I make that a big maybe, we shouldn’t be vaping in government buildings. But, should we really need a law for that? It’s like chewing gum in choir, you should just know better. And, if you consider government to be a business, then they have every right to ban vaping on their property.
Quote courtesy of http://www.sj-r.com/article/20150313/NEWS/150319702