Americans For Tax Reform today called on House Democrats to accept the science as detailed in extensive reports commissioned by the U.S. Government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and vote AGAINST the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376) due to its disastrous impact on public health. H.R. 5376 is expected to be voted on later this evening.
NIH commissioned research has found that the tax increases on people trying to quit smoking through electronic nicotine delivery systems contained in H.R. 5376 would lead to 2.5 million additional smokers in the United States, including an additional half a million teen smokers.. The new tax proposal includes products that have been approved by the FDA as “appropriate for the protection of public health” and have been conclusively proven to be 95% safer than traditional combustible tobacco”.
“It is mind-boggling that in the midst of a global pandemic, Nancy Pelosi is pushing a tax hike on people trying to save their lives, just to pay for a tax-cut for the ultra rich” said Tim Andrews, Director of Consumer Issues at Americans for Tax Reform. “The science is crystal clear: This bill is a public health disaster. The tax hikes on people trying to quit smoking contained in H.R. 5376 would lead to more people millions more Americans smoking – and dying as a result. “With millions of lives on the line, it’s time for Congressional Democrats to listen to the science – and reject Nancy Pelosi’s desperate SALT pay-for cash grab which seeks to raise revenue at the expense of human lives“
Andrews continued: “To increase taxes on poor Americans trying to quit smoking just to pay for tax cuts for multi-millionaires is morally reprehensible. Not only is this a blatant violation of President Biden’s Pledge not to increase taxes on Americans under earning $400,000, not only is it a Reverse Robin Hood which robs from the poor to give to the rich, it is a tax the evidence clearly shows will lead to an extra 2.5 million Americans smoking, and dying as a result. To condemn so many lives to pay for tax breaks for multi-millionaires is one of the most morally bankrupt actions ever undertaken by a government.’
HR 5376 includes a new tax of $50.33 per 1,810 mg of nicotine contained in next generation electronic nicotine delivery systems such as e-cigarettes. These funds would be used to help pay for SALT provisions for the ultra-wealthy, which the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation has stated would give two-thirds of people making more than a million dollars a tax cut.” Of the 2.5 million additional smokers this Act would create, it is estimated that two thirds – or over 1.6 million -would die as a result.
Andrews concluded: “Nancy Pelosi’s Build Back Better Act places a small amount of revenue as more important than saving over 1.5 million lives. We call upon all Democrats to follow their conscience, and do the right thing by their constituents, and vote against this deeply unethical and immoral blood tax.”