Friday, July 27, 2012

Massachusetts Call to Action on E-Cigarette Tax Bill

UPDATE (9/5/2012): The formal legislative season has concluded in Massachusetts.  No action was taken on this bill.  Letters, e-mails, and phone calls are no longer required.  CASAA thanks those who reached out.

Massachusetts Bill H.4291
(link:
http://www.mass.gov/legis/journal/desktop/Current%20Agenda%202011/H4291.pdf)
would change Massachusetts' definition of 'smokeless tobacco' for tax purposes to include electronic cigarettes and dissolvable tobacco. 

This bill would also:

Increase the MA smokeless tobacco tax rate from 90% to 110% of wholesale price, and also tax electronic cigarettes and dissolvables at 110% of wholesale price.

The bill has been introduced by the Massachusetts legislature's Joint Committee on Heath Care Financing as a substitute amendment to H2452, which has been referred to Joint Committee on Rules.


Please call, write or fax the members of the Joint Committee on Rules below.

What to say:
1. You oppose H.4291 because it would redefine the state's definition of "smokeless tobacco" to include new life-saving products like smoke-free electronic cigarettes.

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette or smokeless tobacco has changed your life.

3. Explain that the purpose of increasing cigarette taxes has been to cover governmental healthcare expenditure caused by smoking and to discourage smoking.  But since electronic cigarettes, dissolvables and smokeless tobacco products are 98-99% less hazardous than cigarettes, there is no fiscal or public health justification for such a hefty tax.

4. Point out that this bill also would tax "any component, part, or accessory" of e-cigarettes (e.g. hardware, batteries, rechargers, etc.), regardless of whether it contains nicotine.  This would be the unfair equivalent of taxing items such as matches, cigarette lighters, ashtrays, etc. at the same rate as cigarettes.

5. Since many/most e-cigarette sales are made online, enactment of this legislation would devastate brick-and-mortar e-cigarette retailers in MA and destroy e-cigarette companies in MA, as they could no longer compete against out-of-state and international online suppliers.

6. Many smokers who switch to less hazardous electronic cigarettes do so because e-cigarettes are less expensive than cigarettes.  Increasing the costs of e-cigarettes to that of cigarettes would discourage many smokers from switching to  e-cigarettes.  It could also encourage some e-cigarette consumers to go back to cigarette smoking.


Senate Members

Frederick E. Berry (Senate Chair) (D)
Phone: 617-722-1410
Fax: 617-722-1347
Email: Frederick.Berry@masenate.gov

Karen Spilka (Senate Vice Chair) (D)
Phone: 617-722-1640
Fax: 617-722-1077
Email: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov

Stephen M. Brewer (D)
Phone: 617-722-1540
Fax: 617-722-1078
Email: Stephen.Brewer@masenate.gov


Jack Hart (D)
Phone:  617-722-1150
email: Jack.Hart@masenate.gov


Michael R. Knapik (R)
Phone: 617-722-1415
Fax: 617-722-1506
Email: Michael.Knapik@masenate.gov
Richard J. Ross (R)
Phone: 617-722-1555
Fax: 617-722-1054
Email: Richard.Ross@masenate.gov

House Members

John J. Binienda (House Chair) (D)
Phone: 617-722-2692
Fax: 617-722-2822
Email: John.Binienda@mahouse.gov

Cory Atkins (House Vice Chair) (D)
Phone: 617-722-2692
Fax: 617-722-2822
Email: Cory.Atkins@mahouse.gov

Byron Rushing (D)
Phone: 617-722-2783
Fax: 617-722-2238
Email: Byron.Rushing@mahouse.gov

Thomas M. Petrolati (D)
Phone: 617-722-2255
Fax: 617-722-2846
Email: Thomas.Petrolati@mahouse.gov

Ronald Mariano (D)
Phone: 617-722-2300
Fax: 617-722-2750
Email: Ronald.Mariano@mahouse.gov
 
Ellen Story (D)
Phone: 617-722-2012
Fax: 617-570-6577
Email: Ellen.Story@mahouse.gov

Eugene L. O'Flaherty (D)
Phone: 617-722-2396
Fax: 617-722-2819
Email: Gene.O'Flaherty@mahouse.gov

David M. Nangle (D)
Phone: 617-722-2575
Fax: 617-722-2215
Email: David.Nangle@mahouse.gov

Kathi-Anne Reinstein (D)
Phone: 617-722-2180
Email: KathiAnne.Reinstein@mahouse.gov

Garrett J. Bradley (D)
Phone: 617-722-2520
Email: Garrett.Bradley@mahouse.gov

Patricia A. Haddad (D)
Phone: 617-722-2600
Fax: 617-722-2313
Email: Patricia.Haddad@mahouse.gov

John V. Fernandes (D)
Phone: 617-722-2396
Fax: 617-626-0706
Email: John.Fernandes@mahouse.gov

Donald F. Humason, Jr (R)
Phone: 617-722-2803
Fax: 617-722-2390
Email: Donald.Humason@mahouse.gov

Paul K. Frost (R)
Phone: 617-722-2489
Email: Paul.Frost@mahouse.gov

Geoffrey G. Diehl (R)
Phone: 617-722-2810
Email: Geoff.Diehl@mahouse.gov

Comma-delimited e-mail list:
frederick.berry@masenate.gov, karen.spilka@masenate.gov, stephen.brewer@masenate.gov,  Jack.Hart@masenate.gov , michael.knapik@masenate.gov, richard.ross@masenate.gov, john.binienda@mahouse.gov, cory.atkins@mahouse.gov, byron.rushing@mahouse.gov, thomas.petrolati@mahouse.gov, ronald.mariano@mahouse.gov, ellen.story@mahouse.gov,  gene.o'flaherty@mahouse.gov, david.nangle@mahouse.gov, kathianne.reinstein@mahouse.gov, garrett.bradley@mahouse.gov, patricia.haddad@mahouse.gov, john.fernandes@mahouse.gov, donald.humason@mahouse.gov, paul.frost@mahouse.gov, geoff.diehl@mahouse.gov

Semicolon-delimited e-mail list:

frederick.berry@masenate.gov; karen.spilka@masenate.gov; stephen.brewer@masenate.gov;  Jack.Hart@masenate.gov ; michael.knapik@masenate.gov; richard.ross@masenate.gov; john.binienda@mahouse.gov; cory.atkins@mahouse.gov; byron.rushing@mahouse.gov; thomas.petrolati@mahouse.gov; ronald.mariano@mahouse.gov; ellen.story@mahouse.gov; gene.o'flaherty@mahouse.gov; david.nangle@mahouse.gov; kathianne.reinstein@mahouse.gov; garrett.bradley@mahouse.gov; patricia.haddad@mahouse.gov; john.fernandes@mahouse.gov; donald.humason@mahouse.gov; paul.frost@mahouse.gov; geoff.diehl@mahouse.gov

1 comment:

vaporsradio said...

Some one need to contact their rep lik i did in KY now i have been invited to speek at the Bill meeting on behalf of all vapers in Kentucky.