Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget expands the state’s definition of tobacco products to include vapor products like e-cigarettes, hookah pens and vape pens.
As you can imagine many vape shop businesses are concerned that this proposal would cripple the growing industry.
Zach Feldman, manager of Village Vape or Smoke, worries that the regulations would slow or stop many smokers from dropping cancer-correlated cigarettes in favor of the supposedly safer vape devices.
“With all the loss of tax revenue from cigarettes they got to make it back up somehow, and why not tax the people that we’re smoking that are no longer smoking,” said Feldman.
Businesses we spoke to would have to raise their prices in order to make up that cost.
They say that increase might push people to go online –to find less costly alternatives.
“You’re going to create online sales, and drive costumers to out of state sources, we don’t need that,” said Stebbins, owner of Dewey Ave Smoke Shop.
Governor Cuomo is proposing a 10-cent-per-milliliter increase in tax on vapor products, therefore, the normal 30 milliliter size bottle will be an additional three dollars wholesale, and something that’s 100 milliliters would be an additional ten dollars.
This tax would apply whether the vapor product includes nicotine or not
Stebbins disagrees that the bottle should be taxed but could see the nicotine amount in the bottle being taxed.
“Tax the size of the bottle regardless of the nicotine strength, I don’t think there should be a tax on a zero nicotine, I think that should be an incentive to step down to zero nicotine,” said Stebbins.