Pennsylvania’s Tobacco Products Act, which subjects products sold in vape shops to a 40 percent tax, threatens more than 300 vape shops operating throughout the state and is expected to take effect next Friday.
The act does not name individual components, but it’s expected that products associated with vaping including cotton, batteries and wire will also be subject to the 40 percent tax, according to Philly News.
The legislation also calls for a 40 percent wholesale tax on all existing inventory stocked in stores located throughout the state.
The first part of the act went into effect Oct. 1, and since then more than 70 vape shops have gone out of business, with a few hundred others facing the same fate.
On Tuesday, Philly News reported that Bob Oesterling, the owner of Smoke 4 Less in Clarion, filed a petition with Commonwealth Court against the Department of Revenue “seeking a declaratory judgment that the tax applies only to the e-cigarette and the liquid used with it.”
Vaping has been banned in workplaces, schools, government buildings and public indoor spaces in Pennsylvania, and Oesterling believes that the plan to tax vape shop products is intended to drive them out of business.
“They’re trying to tax us out of business,” Oesterling said. “The vaping industry has reduced those numbers of smokers drastically.”
“But the FDA is trying to persuade the public otherwise,” he said.
To read more click here for the Philly News story.