Our view: State should revisit vaping tax – GoErie.com

By the Editorial Board

The jury is still out on whether electronic cigarettes that deliver nicotine via water vapor are a safe alternative to cigarette smoking. That is just one of the reasons the exorbitant 40 percent tax levied on vaping products a year ago should be revisited by the state Legislature.

As Erie Times-News reporter David Bruce detailed, the vaping tax has raised more than $13.7 million since it took effect on Oct. 1, 2016. But at the same time, it has forced the closure of more than 125 of the state’s nearly 400 vape stores. Erie small business owner Scottie Freeman  reports that he has earned just $100 a month from his Hippie and the Hound Vapor Store and Lounge since the law took effect.

Freeman said he would close the Peach Street shop if it were not for customers who he said enjoyed his product and his own belief that he is helping to save lives by giving customers a safer nicotine product.

The state has long heavily taxed tobacco products, a practice that became all the

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