New York State Removes Vapor Tax and Language from 2017 Budget
NYSVA Advises Businesses and Consumers to Setup Friendly Meetings
VAPE SHOP OWNERS AND CONSUMERS,
As you probably have heard, the 2017 NYS Budget was signed and ALL of the vapor language was removed. This effectively killed the tax, indoor clear air act, and all other vapor regulations that were included in the 2017 budget. The NYSVA would like to thank our member businesses, generous donors, and everyone who made calls and sent emails expressing concerns over these harsh regulations. We feel that this was only possible due to the diligent work of the NYSVA, coupled with YOUR support!
BUT THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER! There are currently 24 stand-alone bills on the table to regulate vapor products, and many of these would decimate the entire vaping industry in New York State. Many of the budget proposals will come right back in the form of a stand-alone bill (ex. tax) and some bills are even WORSE than the regulations that were removed from the budget (ex. ban the sale of bottled eliquid)
NYS Senators and Assembly members are currently home in their districts for holiday break. Now is the time to establish the relationships that we will need to ensure that NYS vapor regulations are reasonable and fair to consumers and businesses. Take some time in the next few weeks and setup meetings with your State Senator and Assembly Representatives. If you need to find your senator and assembly rep, you can text your ZIP CODE to (520) 216-5373 and you will instantly get a text with your representatives' names and phones numbers. Scroll to the bottom for your State Senator and Assembly member. It says State Rep. for Assembly.
These meetings are critical to show our elected officials who we are and WHY WE VAPE. If you own a business, this is especially important. Below are some talking points, but please reach out to the NYSVA if you need assistance with meetings or letters to your representatives. (Keep in mind, you may have different senators and reps for your shop and home. If this is the case, meet with EVERYONE you possibly can)
Tell your story: How long you smoked, how long since you quit smoking. If you own a business, tell them about how and why you started the business. Tell them how many smokers you've helped to make the switch.
Tell them that you: Support sensible regulation but you do not support putting New York's 600 vape shops out of business and their 2200 employees out of work, similar to Pennsylvania where one-third of the businesses closed after a 40% wholesale tax.
Tell them they should not prohibit use of products in businesses that allow vaping. After (x) years of being smoke-free, it will be bad for my health to be forced into a smoking section to be exposed to toxic secondhand smoke.
MOST IMPORTANT, ask them to reach out to you before making a decision that will affect your business or your health. Let them know that the NYSVA is representing the entire industry in New York State and that we can provide them with any science or data that may assist them in making the right decision on vapor products.