"Smoke" by "cenotaph" licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/41107941@N00/3457073907

Press Release: Build Back Better Act Protects Big Tobacco & Robs From The Poor To Give To The Rich

Americans for Tax Reform today called on House Democrats to match their rhetoric with their votes and vote NO on new taxes on people quitting smoking.  H.R. 5376, The Build Back Better Act, includes new taxes on lifesaving alternative nicotine delivery systems which would see some prices double and could make them more expensive than deadly combustible cigarettes. Democrat leadership plan to use these funds to pay for the SALT Deduction tax break for the super-wealthy.  

“If House Democrats truly cared about social justice and poorer Americans, they would oppose the immoral new taxes in the Build Back Better Act designed to protect cigarette companies, discourage smokers from quitting, and redistribute funds from low-income earners to the wealthy elite” said Tim Andrews, Director of Consumer Issues.

“Millions of Americans have successfully quit smoking through reduced risk tobacco alternatives, which the FDA has ruled appropriate for the protection of public health. To tax products these products higher than deadly combustible cigarettes is simply outrageous, and will lead to more Americans smoking – with tragic consequences.  Academic research estimates these taxes would lead to 2.75 million more American smokers, and security analysts are already urging investors  to purchase shares in tobacco companies as the Build Back Better Act would “would effectively protect U.S. cigarette sales

Andrews also noted how the nicotine tax is being used to pay for SALT deductions, almost all of which will be used to benefit persons earning over $1 million annually, while users of these products overwhelmingly come from the poorest segments of society:

“With the vast majority of users of reduced risk tobacco alternatives low-income earners, this highly regressive tax not only blatantly violates Joe Biden’s pledge to not increase taxes on persons earning under $400,000, by using it to fund the SALT deduction for the wealthy elite, it is quite literally a tax on the poor to give to the rich. It beggars belief that so-called “progressives” could ever support this reverse Robin Hood.”

Andrews concluded: “Small increases in revenue must never come at the expense of human lives. We call on all Democrats to stand up for their constituents, and vote against this immoral new tax. Millions of lives quite literally depend on it.”