Alabama’s HB 273 Will Limit Competition and Innovation While Harming Public Health

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Posted by Tim Andrews on Thursday, April 22nd, 2021, 3:42 PM PERMALINK

This week, Americans for Tax Reform wrote to Senators in Alabama serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee, imploring them to reject HB 273, legislation that would restrict adult access to lifesaving reduced harm tobacco alternatives like e-cigarettes, proven to be 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes. 

ATR’s Director of Consumer Issues, Tim Andrews, wrote, “this anti-science proposal would have a disastrous impact upon not only businesses, but public health throughout the state, and lead to an increase in tobacco-related mortality.” 

Andrews noted that certain provisions in the bill will “prevent entrepreneurial participation, limiting competition and innovation in the industry of reduced harm tobacco alternatives. With decreased competition comes inflated prices, which will keep Alabama cigarette smokers from making the lifesaving switch to e-cigarettes. This runs contrary to every principle of sound public health policy.” 

Andrews also urged the Senators to consider effects this bill would have on state revenue, writing that “restrictions on certain vaping products will undoubtedly promote black markets for smuggled products, resulting in decreased state tax revenues as consumers abandon legal vape shops in search of their favored product.”  

Andrews asserted that HB 273 would lead to a boon in criminal activity, noting, “most tobacco smuggling is run by multi-million-dollar organized crime syndicates. These networks, who also engage in human trafficking & money laundering, have also been used to fund terrorist and the US State Department has explicitly called tobacco smuggling a “threat to national security".

The full letter can be read here

Photo Credit: James Willamor

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