Masslive: “We’re declaring this public health emergency because medical and disease control experts have been tracking the rapidly increasing number of vaping related illnesses that in some cases have led to death,” Baker said at a Statehouse press conference announcing the ban. “We as a commonwealth need to pause sales in order for our medical experts to collect more information about what is driving these life threatening vaping-related illnesses.”
The ban was approved by the state’s Public Health Council unanimously on Tuesday afternoon. It will be effective immediately.
Let me start by saying that I despise vaping. Not the act itself, just the “vapers.” Nothing irks me more, though, than seeing some hipster millennial swaggering down the street with one of those Betamax machines stuck in his face. Sure, I get it – lots of people used vaping to help themselves quit cigarettes and that’s great. I quit a pack a day Lucky Strike habit in 2009 and I would’ve killed for a way to gradually step down my nicotine intake to 0 while still having that awesome throat hit and not having to give up the non physical addiction.
I’ve got no quarrel with the folks who used vapes and e-cigs to quit cigarettes. It’s the hipsters who vape and look down on tobacco smokers who I’d gleefully watch fall down an open sewer while trying to walk and change their vape coil at the same time.
“I can’t believe you smoke tobacco, bro….this is so benign man…and your second and third hand smoke is killing everyone around you, blah blah blah” .
So when I heard the CDC start talking about “popcorn lung” and the dangers of vaping, as a cigar smoker, I really had to snicker. The woke mob was finally going see what real government regulation looks like. I figured it’d take a few years but, Massachusetts would figure out a way to tax a nicotine delivery system containing no tobacco. The tax would be draconian like the $3.51 cigarette tax or the 20% tax on other tobacco products. They’d be cast out like lepers by their own people and I’d be right there to say “I told you so”. I should have known that Massachusetts would screw my plans up again by banning vaping outright.
You serious, Clark? A total ban on vape juice and supplies? Until they figure out what is causing the deaths? Charlie Baker continues to be the most overrated and useless politician ever. Every town has at least one vape shop or one nearby. Even Colrain. It’s a huge industry. People make a living selling these things. I passed three vape shops on my way home this afternoon. What are the owners and employees supposed to do for the 4 month ban duration? They still have to pay rent, and what about employees? The whole thing just sounded like a cluster of bad decisions and knee-jerk reactions.
Meanwhile, we are literally handing out clean needles for heroin addicts to shoot up and providing safe spaces for them to inject it into their veins. But yea, let’s ban vaping because that’s way more dangerous than heroin. No one has ever died from heroin. Ever.
When I heard this go down, I was, for maybe the first time in my life, truly outraged. Then I started thinking that this is, after all, Massachusetts. There had to be some other nefarious stuff at play here.
Follow along, kids, Gramps is gonna learn you something! Massachusetts makes tens of millions in tobacco tax revenue. The tax on a pack of cigarettes in MA is $3.51. The tax. On all other tobacco products it’s 40% of the wholesale cost which works out to be anywhere from 10% to 20% of the MSRP. In 2018, Massachusetts collected $884 million in combined cigarette and tobacco taxes. Only $3.7 million of that went towards tobacco prevention. See where this is going? Let’s take a look at Massachusetts Revenue for just cigarettes over the course of several years, straight from the department of Revenue’s website:
Revenue from cigarette sales only peaked in 2009 at $587,331,000.00 and began to decline slowly thereafter. Yes, the tax increases account for some of the falloff but also, in the United States, e-cigarette sales grew at an annual rate of 115 percent in the 2009-2012 period. Kinda neat, eh, kids? Fast forward to fiscal year 2016.
That’s quite a drop, and tobacco revenue has continued the downward trend every fiscal year since then. There’s a lot of factors that go into the decline including loss of sales to New Hampshire and other low/no tax states, businesses illegally buying tax-free product from “trunk slammers”, a decline in smoking and, wait for it…the vaping alternative.
Legislators in Massachusetts have tried, but failed to put together a tax package on vape products for whatever reason. Now I’m no conspiracy theorist, but it doesnt take Oliver Frickin’ Stone to figure this out. The ban includes halting the sale of vape juice and vape products not only in state but also online sales. You think all the Vapers are going to drive to New Hampshire whenever they want a fix? Nah, they’re just going to start smoking again. The state of Massachusetts is about to experience a level of cigarette revenue not seen (and sadly missed) since round about 2009. Follow the money. I’m gonna light up a fat Nicaraguan and watch it all burn.
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