Ill-Advised Nicotine Tax Thrown Back into Democrats’ “Build Back Better” Bill

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Upon news that congressional Democrats today put a nicotine tax provision back into President Biden’s ever-changing “Build Back Better” plan (ostensibly aimed at COVID-19 relief, economic recovery measures, and infrastructure investment), CEI Senior Fellow Michelle Minton offered a statement on why this is such a bad idea:

“Congress’s desire to find revenue to pay for their BBB plan has clouded the judgment of some Democrats when it comes to sensible health policy. Wise health policy should encourage behaviors that reduce death and disease. Instead, this nicotine tax plan would make safer choices as or more expensive than deadly combustible cigarettes. Not only will the plan continue to financially penalize those smokers who can’t or won’t quit, it will also discourage those same smokers, particularly those with lower incomes, from switching to safer and potentially life-saving options for nicotine use.”