A recently released report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that in 2014, 3.7 percent of American adults used electronic cigarettes or vapor products on a regular basis. That figure represents more than 9 million adult consumers, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
E-cigarettes are tobacco-free technology products, which are increasingly being used as smoking cessation tools for traditional cigarette users. The National Health Interview Survey also revealed that 12.6 percent of adults in the U.S. have tried an e-cigarette at least once.
Key CDC Survey Findings:
- About 3.7 percent of adults used e-cigarettes every day or some days;
- Almost one-half of current cigarette smokers (47.6%) and more than one-half of recent former cigarette smokers (55.4%) had ever tried an e-cigarette;
- About one in six current cigarette smokers (15.9%) and nearly one in four recent former cigarette smokers (22.0%) currently used e-cigarettes;
- Fewer than 4 percent of adults who had never smoked conventional cigarettes have ever tried an e-cigarette.
The academic research and evidence suggesting e-cigarettes are at least 95 percent and as much as 99 percent healthier than combustible cigarettes continues to mount. Despite the potential boon to public health, tax-hungry lawmakers and fraudulent “public health” groups have waged a war on vaping, pushing for excise taxes on the products throughout the U.S.
Listen to U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) call for an end to the e-cigarette industry:
Read more about the war on vaping in this National Review piece, “Vaping for Tax Freedom.”
The same groups that for years argued we had to raise taxes on cigarettes to decrease use are now pushing for tax hikes on the products actually achieving that exact goal among adult smokers.
Threats of imposing excise, or “sin taxes” on e-cigarettes have varied state by state. States like Washington, Vermont, and Oregon have considered wholesale tobacco taxes as high as 95 percent. The reaction of the small business vape shops, working in their communities to help smokers quit has been consistent. The threat of taxation stands to kill their businesses, and the public health benefits they are providing.
A recent tax hike imposed in the District of Columbia immediately resulted in the closure of at least one business, which couldn’t afford to compete and comply.
Politicians waging a war on vaping are doing so to balance bloated budgets on the backs of smokers trying to live healthier lives. If these big government bureaucrats wanted to help people actually quit smoking, they would embrace the growing evidence suggesting these products could save governments billions in health care costs and millions of lives.
9 million adult consumers aren’t going to sit idly by as the products they accurately attribute to saving their lives are under the threat of prohibition. With the growing number of adult e-cigarette consumers in the United States, vapers represent a significant single-issue voting bloc. Candidates for federal, state, and local office would be wise to recognize this constituency as the latest addition to the “Leave Us Alone” coalition, especially in swing states and close elections.