CALL TO ACTION


cta

The Call to Action regarding taxation has expired.  We received confirmation from Representative Ray that he will not be including taxes on his bill thus no further action is required.  Please do NOT email your legislators any further on the topic of taxation.  The next Call to Action (if needed) will be released as soon as possible regarding the regulatory portion of the bill.

This will be one of at least 2 Calls to Action for the 2015 Legislative session.

A House Bill to be introduced this week by Representative Paul Ray which is supported by Governor Gary Herbert, threatens to nearly DOUBLE THE PRICE of every product sold by our B&M locations statewide and if enacted, will protect the tobacco companies by making cigarettes cheaper, will force over 50 retail and liquid manufacturers to close down and file bankruptcy and push over 10,000 consumers back to smoking deadly combustible cigarettes.

This bill will:

  • Introduce an 86.5% tax on every product sold by the vapor industry in Utah to raise between $10-35 million dollars which amounts to an estimated $1500-3000 per consumer.  This is generally more per year per consumer than we pay for property taxes on our individual homes.
  • The bill will also introduce regulatory language not yet known however we are only addressing the taxation at this time.  A separate CTA will be issued once the bill has been published and we have assessed the regulatory language.

The actions and statements made by the Governor and Representative Ray show they are addicted to the tax money and demonstrate a lack of compassion for the health of Utah residents.  We believe this will force the consumers back to smoking deadly tobacco cigarettes affecting the lives of every family member through direct exposure to second-hand smoke.  Furthermore, this bill supports Big Tobacco interests and threatens to close over 50 main street businesses placing over 500 people on the unemployment line.

While this bill has not been assigned to committee yet, we are asking everyone to email and call your representatives and ask them to oppose any punitive tax on products that have helped over 10,000 Utahans successfully move away from toxic cigarettes. If they truly care about the health of Utahans and youth access, they will explore world class technologies that control distribution of the product at the point of sale rather than a punitive tax that supports the tobacco industry over Utah main street businesses.

To contact your Senator and Representative, Libertas Utah has a tool to locate them. Go to http://libertasutah.org/sponsor/ (bottom of page) and click on “How do I contact my Senator and Representative” and enter your street address and zip code.

To contact Governor Gary Herbert to educate him and request him to retract his support for a bill that will close Utah businesses and force vapers back to smoking, use the contact form here: http://governor.utah.gov/goca/form_governor.html

You can also tweet to everyone using the hashtag #utvaportax

Suggested talking points:

Important: Be courteous and respectful at all times. You should assume they know very little about vapor products and also that they generally they want good information so they can do the right thing for Utah citizens. So, educate them on how these products have changed your life and ask them to support your position politely, for best results.

As a consumer of vapor products, you know better than most that these products are NOT tobacco, are NOTHING like combustible cigarettes, and that cost and full access to them are important to you. But, YOUR story is the one missing in this discussion as well organized anti-vapor groups have sent their high-dollar lobbyists into Utah to persuade your own legislative representatives to tax and regulate your products just like tobacco. If you care about cost and access of your e-cigarettes, make sure your voice is heard. You really CAN make a difference!

  • Tell them how the switch to vapor products has helped you personally and how it has affected your family.
  • Ask them to oppose any punitive tax on products that have helped over 10,000 Utahans successfully move away from toxic cigarettes.
  • Let them know this will remove any financial benefit there is to NOT smoke.
  • Tell them taxation of combustible tobacco products is to offset the health and social costs of smoking.  Vapor is not smoke and contains no tobacco and the identified health risks associated with smoking do not exist with vapor products.

 

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11 Comments to CALL TO ACTION

  1. Chet Nelson says:

    Please do not take an item that has helped my wife and I quit smoking, along with thousands of others. An item that has made us so many long lasting friendships and support groups. That help us stay a way from the harmfulness of traditional tobacco, thus earning our health back.

  2. Brendon knight says:

    I suggest that you don’t because it would just be like raising taxes on food they are all food products

    • Clayton Pearson says:

      This is an outrage, before I started vaping I was smoking 2 packs + a day and I couldn’t enjoy spending time with my kids cause I couldn’t breathe due to smoking, since I started vaping I can now enjoy chasing my kids around the front yard or the local park without having to stop to catch my breathe, my kids are happy I can now be more a part of their life, vaping has given me so much back, this tax being proposed is going to kill everything a lot of us have come to enjoy and use as a method to get away from traditional tobacco products, don’t take that away from us

  3. misty fox says:

    This is shit vaping has helped so many people quit smoking. Me and my husband included. I was pregnant an wasn’t quitting smoking so my husband got the stuff to vape i vaped pregnant my now 2yr old is a healthy ok baby never sick once. I think you should leave the vape stores alone. #vapornation

  4. Kim la says:

    Please do not up the taxs. vaping have helped me stop smoking if the taxs does go up I will have to go back to smoking cigarette Please and thank you

  5. Robert Gates says:

    I contacted the governor and also my local senator for my district. I let them i am strongly opposed to this measure. This will not help the economy like they believe it will. They are expecting us to keep going to shops and paying this outrageous tax on all items we buy currently. We won’t alot of people i know are already saying they will quit vaping or even order their vape products online. This will effect the local economy immensely. The legislature here needs to start listening to it’s constituents now rather than later. I would recommend that not only vapors but also people who are close friends or family members who may or may not vape also sound off on this issue.

  6. Amir Hakak says:

    I quit smoking 8 years ago after smoking for 16 years. Tried any quit smoking product but only smoking vapor e cig helped me and I’m still using it till now.

  7. skyler munk says:

    I became addicted to smoking cigarettes at the early age of 15 And have tried failed to quit smoking numerous times with things like nicotine patches. I am now 26 and was finally able to kick the nasty habbit with the help of using vaping products. I am now an entire month without a single cigarette when I mafe the immediate switch. I feel so much healthier confident and happy already. I Am completly amazed at how easy it was. Vaping has brought so many people this awesome alternative to help them overcome a powerful addiction. Dont ruin a good thing with a tax that would feel more like a punishment for making a healthy decision. I’m afraid I simply wont be able to afford it and the one vice I have keeping me turning back to cigarettes will be ripped from my grasp and placed out of my reach.

  8. Brittany Wayman says:

    I do not support this bill it has with more deadly smoking cigarettes. That’s a great achievement for many.

  9. Cally Rhoades says:

    Dear Senator,
    I am writing you in regards to Governor Gary Herbert’s proposed taxation on electronic cigarette products and why it is not the best option for our community. Allow me to give you a background on myself.
    I come from a family of your typical true red blooded Americans. My grandparents and their parents lived during times when cigarettes were the fad of the American society; when cigarettes were considered all together rugged, posh and any other sophisticated façade that you wanted them to be. My great grandpa passed away from emphysema when I was very young, and his wife shortly thereafter. Since I was young I have watched my grandparents and other family members chain smoke and ruin their health. Their addictions were so strong that even when doctors pleaded with them to quit they would only cut back and then go right back to smoking packs per day. My Aunt was born with a heart condition due to my Grandmother’s smoking, a condition that only grew worse from the second hand smoke. My mother was also born with a heart condition due to the ill effects of cigarettes. Both my mother and my aunt have had repeated heart surgeries in attempts to correct the damage caused by cigarettes. My Aunt married a smoker who also struggled to quit for the health of his wife, and now his son smokes as well. My mother’s brother is also a smoker and has been for years. Then there is me, my mother quit smoking before I was born and I grew up in a smoke free environment. My husband was not as lucky as I was. When my husband went to enlist in the army, the doctor told him that the damage alone from growing up in a smoke filled house has already effected his lungs. My husband smoked very little then, but the amount he was smoking steadily increased to a pack and a half per day until he discovered vaping. This deadly epidemic has spread through my family leaving behind nothing but destruction and pain in its wake. The year 2014 was a rough year for my family; just one year prior my husband and I discovered electronic cigarettes and they were the only thing that had been effective in helping him quit the use of tobacco. I only wish my family had discovered the same thing sooner. In 2014 my aunt’s husband suffered from a heart attack that nearly took his life. My uncle was diagnosed with diabetes that brought him near death. By 2014 my grandpa had already had seven stints placed in his arteries because they were collapsing on him from the many years of smoking. He developed a neurological problem that effected his muscles and at times his mind. My grandma had lost so much weight from unknown problems with her stomach due to smoking that in May of 2014 she weighed a mere 68 pounds. We almost lost her several times that year. My grandpa was not so lucky. Accidentally taking too many heart and blood pressure pills because he forgot when he had last taken his medication my grandpa was found in his home near death. He was rushed to the hospital my grandma was in and five days later passed away only two doors down from the love of his life. The once strong U.S. Marine had been brought to his knees and ultimately his demise from these deadly cigarettes.
    Since my grandpa passed together as a family we have rallied together and vowed not to let tobacco take the lives of any more people in our family. My husband introduced everyone to electronic cigarettes, and I am very proud to say that my aunt’s husband, her son, my uncle and my grandma are all smoke free. My Uncles made full recoveries and doctors say their health is looking much brighter. My grandma is out of the hospital and slowly recovering and gaining weight through therapy like my grandpa would have wanted. As for my husband he is now almost completely off of nicotine all together and in his spare time he helps people in recovery turn away from cigarettes and gets them smoke free also. We have slowly seen the lives of so many people change, we have seen the health of our friends improve from turning away from cigarettes and toward electronic cigarettes. We have become a part of a community of people that help each other remain smoke free. We have lost family along the way, but we have gained a much larger family. This proposed tax would devastate the vape community. People who couldn’t afford the tax would be forced back to smoking and attempting alternative methods to quit that have been so ineffective before. Pills with horrible side effects that have even cost people their lives. We beg of you to speak for us. Help us continue our journey on remaining smoke free. Help us prevent the epidemic of cigarettes from spreading.
    Sincerely,
    Cally Rhoades