Pennsylvania Tobacco Tax now includes vaping products

Pennsylvania vapers will have to start digging deeper into their wallets.

The tax man has come.

Backed by a court’s decision, the Pennsylvania tobacco tax is now connected to the vaping industry.

Well, at least part of it.

A Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court panel ruled Friday the state’s 40-percent tax will include e-cigarettes even though some of the e-liquids on the market do not contain nicotine, according to pennlive.com.

To Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer, the amount and source of nicotine do not matter. She cited public health as the main proponent for the tax, which became law to deter smoking by individuals of all ages.

Jubelirer summarized her thoughts while writing her case opinion: “Albeit derived from a source other than tobacco, (it is not) any less addicting.”

The nicotine’s origin and vaping mechanics were also recognized by Jubelirer.

“It is, therefore, not ‘unreasonable, unduly oppressive or patently beyond the necessities of the case’ to tax a product that is similar to tobacco when it contains nicotine and is as addictive as a tobacco product.”

The vaping industry did win one battle Friday. The court ruled the Pennsylvania tobacco tax cannot be applied to e-cigarette devices and proponents that are sold separately, according to pennlive.com.

East Coast Vapor spearheaded a legal challenge versus the Department of Revenue. With stores in Harrisburg, Pa., and Mechanicsburg, Pa., East Coast Vapor claims it lost approximately $28,000 last year because vaping components were not taxed individually, according to paperwork filed with the court.

The new e-cigarette tax and device decision will have an effect on Pennsylvania vapers.

How much depends on how deep into their wallets they are willing to dig.

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