Americans for Tax Reform wrote to members of Wisconsin’s Joint Finance Committee this week, urging them to reject Item 16 of Governor Tony Evers’ budget proposal, the “E-Cigarette Excise Tax”. Governor Evers is seeking to increase taxes on lifesaving reduced harm tobacco alternatives, a proposal that would destroy Wisconsin businesses, damage public health throughout the state, and lead to an increase in tobacco-related mortality.
Tim Andrews, ATR’s Director of Consumer Issues, commented on the proposed tax hike, writing that “taxing safer products at such a high rate will drive people to more deadly alternatives, acting contrary to every principle of sound public health policy. As the price of a product increases its use decreases. The same occurs with taxes on vaping, which have been proven to increase smoking rates as people shift back to deadly combustible cigarettes.”
Andrews encouraged lawmakers to avoid mistakes made by neighboring Minnesota, pointing out that “after Minnesota imposed a tax on vaping products, it was determined that it prevented 32,400 additional adult smokers from quitting smoking”
Andrews’ letter also made note of a scientific study from the University of Glasgow that demonstrated that e-cigarettes are particularly helpful for smoking cessation among disadvantaged populations, writing that, “Governor Evers’ “E-Cigarette Excise Tax” will have a tremendously negative impact on public health and would fail to decrease socioeconomic disparities.”
The full letter can be read here.