Reader View: E-cigarette taxes bad for New Mexico

Lawmakers in Santa Fe recently considered a proposal to institute a tax on vapor products (commonly referred to as electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes) at the exorbitant rate of 4 cents per milligram nicotine — a level that would make many products more expensive than the real thing: toxic, deadly cigarettes. While this is being posited as a “public health” measure, it is in fact a money grab, the effect of which would be antithetical to both public health and New Mexico’s budgetary needs. Consider the science and the math: When a moderate or heavy smoker seeks to escape from this deadly addiction, most would select a nicotine liquid content of 2.4 percent to 3.6 percent — at 4 cents per mg, that would come out to between $28 and $43. The tax on “the real thing” in New Mexico — $1.66 per pack. At that price, how many smokers will decide to continue to smoke?
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