Bill to Tax Electronic Cigarettes Draws in Large Crowd at Public Hearing
Bill to tax electronic cigarettes draws in large crowd.
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - A bill to tax electronic cigarettes at the same 95 percent rate as tobacco products drew a crowd that overflowed several meeting rooms for a House committee hearing.
The bill requested by Governor Jay Inslee had its first public hearing before the House's Commerce and Labor committee Monday afternoon. House Bill 1645 is aimed to put the first substantial state regulations on "vaping" and to fight the habit's increasing popularity among teenagers. It would create a law against minors buying e-cigarettes and outlaw flavored vapor products. Like a separate vaping bill that already passed the Senate, the House bill would require all e-cigarette products to come in child-resistant packaging.
E-cigarette users and vaping store owners said the devices are beneficial by keeping people away from smoking cigarettes. Health officials supporting the bill said high school students are increasingly vaping as a point of entry to long-term nicotine use.