In November the voters here in North Dakota will decide the fate of Measure 4, a massive 400 percent tax increase on cigarettes and a similarly large hike in taxes on tobacco products.
And lumped into the definition of tobacco products? Vaping products.
A question for many is why the ballot measure would apply a tax on tobacco products to vaping which sure seems like a good way to stop using tobacco. Greg Conley, President of the American Vaping Association, was in Fargo last night for a stop on the Right to Vape Tour, spoke with me on my radio show about it yesterday.
He says vaping has gotten lumped in with smoking because the two just kind of look like the same thing.
“Modern tobacco prevention is about puritanism,” he told me. He said that anti-tobacco officials “don’t like that modern smokers are quitting smoking but still deriving pleasure” from vaping.
Conley also decried impending FDA regulations which could close down vape shops across North Dakota and the nation. “They will be gone,” he told me, saying that the FDA would be “regulating with a sledgehammer.”
Here’s the full audio. You can read the text of Measure 4 right here.