Lawmakers deciding how to tax vaping

(NETWORK INDIANA)   A tax on vaping is still moving at the statehouse, but senators are trying to decide exactly what to tax:

The House approved a tax based on the amount of e-liquid in a cartridge. Health advocates say that tax of four to 12 cents a cartridge is a good start, but too low. Bryan Hannon with Tobacco Free Indiana says Juul, by far the dominant player in the vaping industry, uses little liquid and would barely be touched. He’s urging senators to set the tax at 24-percent of the price, about what the tax on traditional cigarettes adds up to. That would push the tax as much as 24 times higher.

John McCullough, president of Evansville e-liquid manufacturer vapor bank, says the tax is unfair for the opposite reason. He says it should be based on the amount of nicotine in the product. He argues it’s unfair for his product to face a higher tax than cigarettes with a third more nicotine.

Even McCullough doesn’t question the rationale of imposing some form of tax. All other forms of nicotine are taxed already, and McCullough says he’s assumed vaping would follow.

A Senate committee could vote on its version of the tax next week.