(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)
The price of vaping could quickly skyrocket if a 60% tax bill were passed by lawmakers.
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"It's like saying to me," We're going to impose a new tax on your favorite pizza. "No, do not do that!" Said Jim Music, who took part in a demonstration against the tax bill.
Washington lawmakers introduced HB 1873, which would add a 60% tax on steam-based products, similar to tobacco. Currently, the vape is not taxed.
Joshua Baba, owner of the Vape store, said the vape was different from tobacco and that rising prices would force many stores to close.
"Sixty percent – we suddenly owe it to the state? It's crazy. It makes me bankrupt, "he said.
In the rain, Monday afternoon, a small group held placards and rallied to protest.
"This kind of numbers scares somebody. I consume a few bottles of steam juice a week and this will double my cost, "said Music.
A new survey conducted by Washington Health Health Youth reveals that e-cigarettes and vaping are on the rise. Thirty percent of high school students reported using steam-based products, up from 20% in 2016.
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The state representative, Gerry Pollet, proposed the bill. He wants to see the numbers go down and believes that a tax is the ticket.
"Electronic cigarettes and vaping products are very cheap, you will not believe how cheap they are," he said. "A pack of cigarettes in the state of Washington costs an average of just over $ 8. Vaping the same amount of nicotine will cost you around $ 2. "
Legislators believe that the tax will reduce youth vaping by 25%. Others find it hard to believe.
"This tax will not change where kids get it or how it gets it, but it will negatively change the lives of many store owners are fully in compliance with the law," said Music.
Pollet said the 60% tax would raise $ 30 million a year. The money would be used to fund programs aimed at preventing teens from getting out of breath.
Written by Shelby Miller