Repeal of electronic cigarette, ‘vaping’ tax proposed by Petrarca

HARRISBURG, Sept. 16 – The tax on electronic cigarette products included in the recently enacted state budget would be repealed under a proposal offered by state Rep. Joseph Petrarca. 

“Many constituents have contacted my office to express concern that the soon-to-be enacted 40 percent tax on electronic cigarette, or ‘vaping’ products, will not only make these items more costly, but it will also deter friends and family members from being able to purchase these products to end their tobacco addiction,” said Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, who voted against the tax.

“I’m also concerned about the many small businesses that won’t be able to afford to pay this large tax increase on their inventory and will be forced to close their doors, putting hundreds of people out of work across Pennsylvania,” he said.

The use of electronic cigarettes enables tobacco smokers to otherwise ingest nicotine without the harmful effects of inhaling carcinogens and other hazardous products of tobacco combustion. As such, it has become invaluable in helping thousands of Pennsylvanians quit smoking, thereby reducing their risk of contracting certain forms of cancer.

“While this 40 percent tax on electronic cigarette products will dramatically increase the price of these products for consumers, the estimated annual revenue generated from this tax for the state -- $13 million -- is negligible compared to the nearly $500 million estimated to be generated annually from the other increased taxes on tobacco products. As such, my legislation would abolish this onerous tax on Pennsylvania’s working men and women,” Petrarca said.

Implementation of the tax is slated to commence on Oct. 1.