With Governor Dunleavy’s veto of Alaska’s SB 45, all 2022 legislative sessions nationwide have now concluded. Americans for Tax Reform is pleased to report that zero anti-vaping bills succeeded this year, and as such, the rights of people who vape to choose safer nicotine alternatives has been appropriately protected.
To mark this occasion, below are “highlights” of this past legislative session.
Alaska SB 45
In Alaska, Senate Bill 45 sought to raise the tax rate on vapor products from 0% to 35%, treating them same as combustible tobacco products. The proposal passed the Senate and House before Governor Dunleavy, a signer of ATR’s Taxpayer Protection pledge, stood against the tax hike and vetoed the bill. ATR submitted written testimony to both the Senate and House, and sent a letter to the Governor explaining how vaping taxes increase smoking and urged him to veto the legislation.
Colorado HB 1064
House Bill 1064 would have banned flavors in vaping products, a proposal proven to increase smoking and lead to devastating decreases in tax revenue. ATR submitted testimony to two Colorado House committees and Tim Andrews, Director of Consumer Issues, testified live in opposition to the bill. The bill was defeated, 35-27, in the House.
Connecticut SB 367
Like Colorado, Connecticut’s Senate Bill 367 was an unsuccessful vape flavor ban proposal. Tim Andrews testified live for members of Connecticut’s Senate and written testimony was also provided. Connecticut currently benefits greatly from a disastrous flavor ban in Massachusetts that is costing the state over $100 million per year in tax revenue, much of that going to neighboring states like Connecticut. The bill’s unpopularity meant it was never brought forward for a Senate vote.
Maine LD 1693
Maine’s Legislative Document 1693, misleadingly titled “An Act to… Improve the Well-being of All Mainers”, sought to ban flavors in tobacco products and vapor products and double the current tax rate on cigarettes. Cigarette tax hikes are ineffective, cruel measures that encourage black market activity, just like bans on flavored tobacco and vaping products.
Fortunately, following testimony from Tim Andrews, the Maine Legislature’s Committee on Health and Human Services stripped the flavor bans and cigarette tax hike from the bill before advancing the legislation. The bill was never voted on in the Legislature.
Maryland SB 99
Senate Bill 99, a measure seeking to authorize localities to create and enforce tobacco product regulations, would have exposed Maryland vapers to a wide range of anti-science, pro-smoking local bills. In addition to the public health consequences, allowing towns and cities to ban or tax tobacco can lead to massive losses in tax revenue that places a strain on state finances. ATR sent a letter to Maryland’s Senate and Tim Andrews provided testimony live for Maryland Senators. The bill was never advanced out of the Senate Finance committee.
New Mexico HB 33
Despite overwhelming evidence showing vapor taxes drive consumers to combustible cigarettes, New Mexico legislators plowed forward with a proposal to increase the tobacco tax and implement taxes on reduced risk nicotine products like vapes, snus, and nicotine pouches. New Mexico’s House Health and Human Services committee voted 6-3 to table the bill. ATR submitted written testimony to legislators and Tim Andrews provided effective oral testimony.
Americans for Tax Reform is proud to stand with the millions of American vapers in fighting against anti-science, anti-public health restrictions of consumer choice.