Trump Budget Seeks Ill-Advised E-Cigarette Tax

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President Trump’s budget submitted to Congress today contains an ill-advised tax on e-cigarettes. CEI Senior Fellow Michelle Minton says such a tax would do less to improve public health than to throw more money at the FDA and help big companies over little ones.

“The President’s latest budget makes it clear that calls to regulate e-cigarettes have more to do with generating revenue than public health. After helping create the misleading perception of a vaping ‘epidemic’ among youth, the FDA managed to convince the president to include in his budget a new $100 million tax on e-cigarettes that regulators will collect and supposedly use to deter vaping.

“Unfortunately, the FDA has so far proven ineffective at discouraging youth e-cigarette experimentation, so it’s doubtful throwing more tax dollars at FDA will produce better results. Instead, the proposed tax would do most damage to small and independent e-cigarette manufacturers least able to afford cost increases, thus giving a clear advantage to larger competitors — namely, big tobacco companies that make e-cigarettes.”