The Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is currently waging a war against the use of electronic cigarettes with a shameless new tax plan. With an intention to increase the tax revenue of the city, Emanuel wants to increase the tax on electronic cigarettes that would be almost equal to that of tobacco cigarettes. As more people are switching form tobacco habit in favour of electronic cigarettes, the mayor sees only dollar signs. He is willing to sacrifice the public health, if that is what it takes, to see an increase in tax revenue.
According to the president of the American Vaping Association, Gregory Conley, the message from the Mayor to smokers is very clear: please do not quit, the Chicago government is desperately needs your money. This is a brazen tax grab that will not only cost the lives of citizens, but also put most vapour retail stores in Chicago out of business. Instead of electronic cigarette users shopping at Chicago retail stores, they will simply buy outside the city or online.
It is unfortunate that prominent people like Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno is arguing that the tax would help stop the youth from using electronic cigarettes. Moreno, believes that young vapers would be less inclined to use electronic cigarettes if the price increases.
Let us be realistic with the proposal of Emanuel. Even if the new electronic cigarette tax is approved, it won't go very far to fill the budget hole of Chicago. Currently, the Mayor needs to find millions of dollars to revive the financial situation of the city to pay the outstanding debts. Ultimately, the anti-smoking advocates have made some huge mistakes in the way they are handling electronic cigarettes, putting them on the spot for radical decisions.
Now, it is up to the residents of Chicago to fight back against unfair taxation. The President of the American Vaping Association is calling vapers in Chicago to take a stand. In fact, increasing tax on these tobacco-free and smoke-free products will be a fatal mistake.