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An e-cigarette sin tax could be finalized soon in Mississippi.

Attorney General Jim Hood remains poised to present the proposal to place increased tax rates on the purchases of vaping products. The Mississippi sin tax is slated to be packaged with a variety of bills focused on controlling the state-wide vaping economy, according to the Daily Journal of Tupelo, Miss.

Among the series of anti-vaping entities working with Hood, the state Health Department, Youth Court judges and the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, have lobbied the AG office for stiffer e-cigarette restrictions.

State Health Officer Mary Currier summarized the opposing organization’s stance.

“These products are just ways to deliver nicotine – a highly addictive substance, as anyone who has tried to quit smoking cigarettes knows,” Currier was quoted as saying. “Electronic nicotine delivery systems are not included in Mississippi’s tobacco laws, but addict our children and attract them with fruit and other kid-friendly flavors. These devices are actually hidden in plain sight, and parents and teachers need to be especially vigilant.”

As concerned with underage smoking as she may be, Currier’s comments do not connect with a growing list of recent studies. Penn State College of Medicine released conflicting research in 2016, concluding vaping is significantly less addictive than traditional cigarettes, according to the Daily Journal.

Hood said his primary concern targeted the rising vaping rates among teenagers.

“I want parents to know what their kids are doing because it’s incredibly easy to hide these devices,” Hood said. “Many teenagers don’t even know how dangerous it is to their health.”

Hood’s words, on the surface, appear sincere. But the proposed sin tax will affect adults more than minors. Is it a means to an end?

Or just another excuse for politicians to extort more money from ordinary individuals?

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