Let’s send customers out of state to spend their money!
Let’s shut down Alabama Small Businesses!
Let’s make it harder for people to quit smoking!
The State of Alabama is considering a massive tax ($0.25 per ml) on e-liquid that would take an 30 ml of e-liquid at a vape shop from $15-$22 a bottle to $22.50 to almost $30 a bottle. This is an increase that many vapers won’t stand for.
This sin tax is being proposed along with a bump in tax on analog cigarettes and soda. The tax money is in an attempt to plug a hole in a $200 million dollar deficit in Alabama’s general fund.
My question is, how did Alabama get into that big of a hole in the 1st place?
What will happen?
Taxing e-Liquid sales in Alabama isn’t going to produce the results Governor Bentley imagines it will though.
Let’s assume this goes through. The 1st thing that will happen is that local vape shops are going to suffer. People are not going to want to spend $7.50 extra on a single bottle of juice. They are going to do one of four things to continue vaping if this tax goes through, none of which are good for the local vape shops.
- They will drive to other states, if convenient. Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida do not currently have these excessive taxes. They can grab some lottery tickets while they are over there too!
- They will order online. This already happens a lot as it is, but will become more prevalent if this tax goes through.
- Black-market E-Juice. This will open the doors for the hobbyist juice maker to peddle their juices in parking lots.
- They might even start making their own juice.
Vape shops make a good percentage of their sales in juice sales and their largest profit margin product is e-liquid. One vape store owner I spoke to said that e-liquid sales make up at least 50% of their sales.
The best part of having a local vape shop that sells a variety of juice is that user can come in and sample the flavors to find one that will help them quit or stay off cigarettes.
It doesn’t matter which of these solutions vapers choose, they will all spell the end to the local vape shop.
One shop owner I’ve talked with plans to move their business out of state if this tax goes through.
It has been estimated Angi Stalnaker, spokesperson for the Breathe Easier Alliance of Alabama, that nearly 2,000 vapor industry employees in Alabama could lose their jobs.
Will smokers will keep smoking? Will vapers go back to smoking?
This I can’t answer, but I would imagine that such a large tax on e-liquid would have smoker’s second guessing the costs of switching.
I don’t think anyone that has started vaping to quit smoking would revert though. I think they would find an alternative source for their e-liquid needs. Former smokers that vape that have felt the benefits of vaping would be crazy to revert.
What can you do to help fight this tax?
We all know that petitions are useful right? Wrong. If signing a petition makes you feel better, here’s one for you right here!
Call or write your lawmakers?
A call might still be in order, but it’s probably too late to write at this point.
Join the Breathe Easier Alliance of Alabama and I down in Montgomery on August 3rd, 2015!
Yes, you can join the Breathe Easier Alliance of Alabama and I in Montgomery in a few days! They are organizing vapers and business owner in the industry in Montgomery on Aug 3rd, 2015 to meet with lawmakers about the tax.
Details: This will be a coordinated visit to oppose this tax. We need as many people as possible to be at the Alabama State House at. We will meet in the front on the building at 8:50am and then disperse to attend committee meetings and meet individually with legislators.
Please dress business casual (No shorts, no tshirts) and we will have lapel stickers for everyone to wear. Prepare to be there at least until 1:00pm.
Please let us know if you intend on coming and how many people you will be bringing with you so that we can have a head count.
I will be there and hope to see 100s of other vapers there to show support from the user’s perspective.
Who am I and why do I care?
I have no financially interest in the matter. I am just a vaper that smoked for 27 years. I tried dozens of times to quit over the last 10 years. I tried patches, gum, prescription drugs. Nothing worked until I gave e-cigarettes a try.
I feel great and after a year and a half of vaping without a single cigarette, I am actually transitioning away from vaping now. The goal was to quit smoking and that has been accomplished.
If you want to know more about me and my vape story, read more here.
I care so much because I would love to see everyone that still smokes quit and I know that vaping worked for me.
In closing, I would like to ask Governor Bentley and Alabama Lawmakers to consider it’s people rather than money!
Back in February, Gov. Bentley said he wanted to save money in the long run through Medicaid savings by increasing cigarette taxes. Now he wants to price a method of quitting out of reach?
“If you raise the prices of cigarettes, obviously, the amount of money you collect – it is a diminishing return because there will be fewer cigarettes bought because of the cost,” Bentley said. “It will help us in the long-run because it will help our health outcomes in the long-run,” which could lead to Medicaid cost savings.
I feel like there is more than meets the eye here and I want to hear what these lawmakers tell us on August 3rd!