(FRANKFORT, Ky - February 26, 2020) Today, the Kentucky House of Representatives passed HB32, which would add an excise tax on e-cigarettes, or "vapes," of 25 percent of the wholesale price. The bill also would double the tax on other tobacco products. The bill passed by a vote of 75-17. Following is a statement from Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky:
"House passage of the e-cigarette tax bill marks a significant step forward in protecting youth from the dangers of e-cigarettes or "vapes." These products have been aggressively marketed to our children and likely have addicted more than 18,000 teens in Kentucky, conservatively speaking. Raising the price through an excise tax is among the most effective measures to help keep more kids from trying these products and becoming subject to a lifelong addiction to nicotine. The 25 percent tax is very close to Kentucky's current cigarette tax. The 50-cent increase in that tax, for which we advocated in 2018, reduced cigarette sales in Kentucky by 36 million packs in its first 12 months. Special thanks to Rep. Jerry Miller for his leadership on this bill. We strongly encourage the Kentucky Senate to adopt this e-cigarette excise tax as well in the hope that we can see a similarly dramatic drop in youth vaping in Kentucky in the coming months and years."
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About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Funded by an endowment, the mission of the nonpartisan Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested more than $29 million in health policy research, advocacy, and demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth. Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.
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