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NY Plans to Tax Vapor Products in 2017

Friday, February 03, 2017
NYSVA's New York Minute...

With the start of the 2017 legislative session in Albany, the state of NY has a plan to tax and regulate vapor products as part of Governor Cuomo's budget proposal. The proposal is for a ten-cents per milliliter tax to be levied on e-liquids at the wholesale level. In addition, the state also plans to include vapor products in the NY State Clean Air Act, which would prohibit the use of vapor products where smoking is currently prohibitted.

This comes just about a month after the Governor vetoed NY Senate bill S6003 from 2016, which would have required retailers of vapor products to register with the state department of health.  In the veto, Cuomo indicated that "policy initiatives that focus on e-cigarettes must not undermine the work already being done to reduce the negative effects of combustible tobacco". A significant factor in this veto is the position of the Governor's office that the fiscal burden of regulating vapor products should not fall on the state, without a source of funding to offset enforcement costs.

This plan to tax vapor products will come with additional regulations as well, and could open the door for more down the road. After a few years of failed attempts, it appears that the state is more determined than ever to regulate the vaping industry. The legislature is also currently exploring ways to change the definition of a "tobacco product" to include vapor products.  

Although the future seems uncertain for vaping in NY state, there is hope in the fact that the state seems more willing to admit that vapor products do not pose the same risk to public health as the traditional combustible tobacco products. The New York State Vapor Association was formed to give the vaping indusrtry, and all consumers of vapor products, a voice in Albany. Vaping businesses and consumers need to stand together to ensure the future affordability and accessibility of vapor products for adult smokers in NY state.