Beshear proposes to raise money for state by taxing cigarettes and vaping products

Higher taxes on vaping products could tap into the pockets of a new group of consumers

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Gov. Andy Beshear is aiming to boost funding for the state of Kentucky by taxing cigarettes and vaping products.

The cost of cigarettes would be raised 10 cents a pack under his proposal, however, the impact on vaping would be much more dramatic: 10 cents more per milliliter on vaping liquid means a typical bottle would cost about $6 more.

Several customers told WAVE 3 News on Wednesday if the tax is passed, they could find cheaper products online or across the river in Indiana.

Troy Leblanc, the president of one of the area’s leading tobacco and vaping product retailers, Derb E Cigs, said specifically taxing vaping liquid shows the state doesn’t understand vaping products.

“A milliliter of liquid is very ambiguous,” Leblanc said. “You have a milliliter that could contain 3 milligrams of nicotine and you could have a milligram in a Juul that contains up to 59 milligrams of nicotine. So, taxing it just based on the liquid content, it just doesn’t really make much sense.”

Republican legislative leaders expressed skepticism over the governor’s proposal, saying the new tax could reduce tobacco and vaping consumption and drive down revenue.

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