NJ tax on e-cigarettes will keep smokers smoking: Letter – NJ.com

What a breath of fresh air it was to read The Star-Ledger editorial castigating a proposal for a hypocritical and destructive exorbitant tax on electronic cigarettes in New Jersey (“Up in the air,” April 7). The Star-Ledger is nearly alone in recognizing that the emperor is not wearing any clothes when it comes to public health and smoking.

“For the benefit of public health” indeed — did the state treasurer at least hang his head in shame when he uttered that deception? The onerous tax proposed in Gov. Chris Christie’s budget will contribute to killing addicted smokers by making e-cigarettes less accessible. The theory that such a tax will help balance the budget is also fallacious: The “extra” tax receipts will be much smaller than predicted as vapers get their e-cigs outside the state or online.

This oppressive, confiscatory tax would be bad for business, and worse for public health. E-cigarettes represent the best hope of helping addicted smokers quit. By putting obstacles in the way, such as this horrendous tax, the governor has in effect decided to keep ’em smoking — which I fear is fine with the government. After all, their actions make it apparent they’re in business with Big Tobacco via the tax collector.

Gilbert Ross, medical and executive director, American Council on Science and Health

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