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On behalf of vapor businesses in the state of Oregon attempting to help their customers quit combustible cigarettes, I am asking you to VOTE NO on a 65% wholesale tax on vapor products like combustible tobacco products.
Vapor products are 95% less harmful than cigarettes and proven highly effective in helping smokers quit. It is in the interest of Oregon’s public health to keep this 21st century technology available as a tool adults can utilize in their fight to quit smoking. Every year 480,000 Americans die from smoking related illnesses – discouraging use of the most effective product helping smokers quit through increased taxes is a simply backwards policy.
Not only will this legislation harm public health, it will negatively impact Oregon’s economy. Vapor businesses create jobs and contribute to the state’s budget through sales taxes, property taxes, unemployment insurance payments and income taxes. If a vapor tax passes, those jobs will be lost and long-term, tax revenue will actually decrease.
This isn’t just speculation – Pennsylvania legislators implemented a 40% excise tax on vapor products and within 8 months more than 100 local businesses closed and nearly 1,000 Pennsylvanians lost their jobs. However well-intentioned this legislation purports to be – we needn’t forget the unintended consequences of similar legislation in Pennsylvania.
So please, do not support an industry-killing tax that will eliminate the most viable alternative to combustible cigarettes - VOTE NO on a vapor tax.