(FRANKFORT, Ky - April 1, 2020) The revenue bill adopted today by the Kentucky General Assembly includes an excise tax on e-cigarettes: House Bill 351 would tax pre-filled e-cigarette cartridges, or pods, at the rate of $1.50 per pod; it also would tax open e-cigarette systems at the rate of 15 percent of the wholesale price. The Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow, of which the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is a founding member, sought an e-cigarette excise tax of 27.5 percent of the wholesale price on all e-cigarette products.
 
Following is a statement from the Foundation, which is joined by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the Kentucky Cancer Foundation, the Kentucky Equal Justice Center, the Kentucky Health Collaborative, the Kentucky Medical Association, Kentucky Youth Advocates, and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, regarding this new tax:
 
"This new tax is clearly a win for health in Kentucky, especially for our adolescents and teens, because it will result in a significant price increase that will deter many of our youth from using dangerous e-cigarette products," said Ben Chandler, president and CEO, Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. "E-cigarettes are the only tobacco product sold in Kentucky currently not subject to an excise tax. The relatively low cost has been a factor - along with the kid-friendly flavors - in luring up to 80,000 Kentucky kids to try these highly addictive products. We applaud the legislature for adopting a pod tax that will substantially increase the price of the products that are most popular among youth right now, including the Juul and knock-off reusable devices and the Puff Bar and Posh disposable e-cigarettes. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, inhaling toxins that are shown to damage the lungs puts these kids and every other smoker and vaper in the Commonwealth at greater risk for serious complications from COVID-19. This is an important bill today and for the future, and a strong step in the right direction.
 
"We strongly urge youth and adults who use e-cigarettes to take advantage of the free assistance programs offered in Kentucky to help tobacco users quit successfully. For your health, please do not go back to smoking."
 
The resources available for quitting include:
 
Quit Now Kentucky, offers nicotine replacement therapy and counseling
1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) / Llame al 1-855-DEJELO-YA (855-335-3569)
Text QUITKY to 797979
Quit Now Kentucky

My Life, My Quit, a quit-vaping service for teens that provides coaching by text message, by phone, or by online chat
Call 855-891-9989
Text START MY QUIT to 855-891-9989
My Life, My Quit

This is Quitting, a free coaching service for those ages 13-24 to help them quit using e-cigarettes
Text KENTUCKY to 88709.

# # #

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.

Media Contacts:
Bonnie J. Hackbarth
bhackbarth@healthy-ky.org 
877-326-2583 (Office)
502-552-3770 (Mobile)

Alexa Kerley
akerley@healthy-ky.org 
877-326-2583 (Office)
859-229-9611 (Mobile)