There have been many industries damaged or even shut down due to excessive regulations, but the vape world is one of the more egregious examples we have seen in recent years.
We know that these regulations are bad for business, but why should you, as a consumer, care about what regulations are affecting the vape industry?
There are many, but let’s start with these three:
Your Vape Juice and Hardware Will Cost More
More and more states are making it more expensive to vape by imposing controversial vape taxes. And why are they taxing vapers, you ask? Take cigarettes for example. Traditional tobacco products are harmful and frankly, a detriment to public health.
To combat this, state-sponsored health organizations use taxation to discourage the use of these harmful products. The idea is to price the consumer out of the product so they can no longer afford it on a regular basis. And apparently, this strategy is working. Smoking rates in the U.S. are at their lowest ever – likely because it’s just too expensive to smoke!
Image Credit: Bloomberg
But why, if vaping is not as harmful as cigarettes, would governments want to tax? The reason is that once a government agency begins to rely on tax revenue to operate, it has an interest in preserving that source of income. Now that cigarette use has reached an all time low, state and local agencies need a tax source to keep operating. Whether rightly or wrongly (mostly wrongly), they are now targeting vaping.
One recent, noteworthy example is the Pennsylvania Floor Tax, which has resulted in the closure of nearly 25 percent of vape shops and an increase in consumer costs.
Pennsylvania Vape Association founder, Chuck Huff, explains the impact of the crazy PA Vape Tax in an interview on Vape Radio. The tax forces vape shops to pay a 40% tax on the value of all vaping inventory – sold or unsold.
This means that vape shops would have to pay a tax of $40,000 on inventory worth $100,000, regardless of whether or not it sells. To put this in perspective, imagine having to pay the government 40% of the value of your car every year, regardless of if you drive it or not. Crazy, right?
Vape shops would have to pass that cost on to the consumer in order to survive – meaning you – could pay up to 40% more for the same juice you are vaping today.
California is just about to experience something similar due to Proposition 56, which passed last November. This tax is almost 67 percent of the value of a vape shop’s sales and it is just going into effect now.
Juice and Hardware Could Become Too Costly To Produce
The FDA has been trying to implement something called a Premarket Tobacco Application (PMTA) for years. Without getting into too much detail (and boring you), just know this: If the PMTA process is approved, 90% of juice companies are likely to go out of business.
How? The PMTA process essentially makes it so cost-prohibitive to produce juice that virtually no one will be able to afford to do so. And to make matters worse, it could apply to any product that was on the market after 2007 – which is essentially every product you know and love today. Even more, the PMTA could apply to hardware as well.
Know this: if the PMTA process gets approved and implemented, you will see a lot less flavors and hardware available at your local shop and online.
Risk Of A Ban On Flavors
“Protecting The Children” Means Fewer Flavors For You
What started as an alternative means to use tobacco, has since become a social phenomenon where the flavors are the icing on the cake – which sometimes are literally flavored just like icing on a cake. Herein lies the exact problem that special interest groups take issue with: flavors that appeal to children.
Such groups claim that the vape industry is getting kids addicted to nicotine on purpose, just like the tobacco industry did in the 70s and 80s with flavoring. Though it is true that a lot of underage vaping is going on, the industry is hardly targeting them on purpose. Ask any vape shop owner – they opened their shop to help adults quit smoking, not to elicit kids to start vaping.
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Such ridiculous claims are gaining political support both locally and nationally. In an effort to kill an ant with a bazooka, towns like Oakland, California are looking to essentially eliminate eLiquid flavors.
If such a ban on flavors ever passes, you can be assured that you’ll see fewer options at your local vape shop.