Friday, February 21, 2014

Call to Action! Washington Bill to Impose Excessive 95% Tax on E-Cigarettes

URGENT UPDATE 3/11/14:   The threat of excessive taxation of e-cigarettes in Washington remains and, in fact, we have received word that Senate Republicans met on Saturday to caucus on the tax proposals and have already "spent" the money in their appropriations plans for the state, which plans include a tax of 75% to 95% on e-cigarettes.   This matter could be decided THIS WEEK.

It is imperative that vapers and harm reduction advocates  call and email members of the Senate and House and let them know that you consider e-cigarettes to be potentially life saving, and you strongly oppose any efforts to impose punitive taxes on a product that is estimated to be 99% less hazardous than smoking.  


To email Senate members, you can use the form found at 

(360) 786-7650
(360) 786-7618
(360) 786-7610
(360) 786-7602
(360) 786-7632
(360) 786-7604
(360) 786-7638
(360) 786-7614
(360) 786-7662
(360) 786-7696
(360) 786-7656
(360) 786-7648
(360) 786-7612
(360) 786-7652
(360) 786-7658
(360) 786-7682
(360) 786-7692
(360) 786-7642
(360) 786-7690
(360) 786-7646
(360) 786-7616
(360) 786-7636
(360) 786-7630
(360) 786-7672
(360) 786-7686
(360) 786-7624
(360) 786-7684
(360) 786-7664
(360) 786-7626
(360) 786-7688
(360) 786-7670
(360) 786-7640
(360) 786-7641
(360) 786-7600
(360) 786-7674
(360) 786-7608
(360) 786-7667
(360) 786-7654
(360) 786-7606
(360) 786-7622
(360) 786-7676
(360) 786-7628
(360) 786-7678
(360) 786-7634
(360) 786-7660
(360) 786-7644
(360) 786-7620
(360) 786-7668
(360) 786-7694

State Representatives in the House:

To email House members, you can use the form found at:

(360) 786-7934
(360) 786-7862
(360) 786-7870
(360) 786-7854
(360) 786-7814
(360) 786-7960
(360) 786-7920
(360) 786-7820
(360) 786-7926
(360) 786-7978
(360) 786-7954
(360) 786-7846
(360) 786-7896
(360) 786-7804
(360) 786-7942
(360) 786-7818
(360) 786-7974
(360) 786-7952
(360) 786-7830
(360) 786-7878
(360) 786-7958
(360) 786-7868
(360) 786-7848
(360) 786-7966
(360) 786-7986
(360) 786-7842
(360) 786-7918
(360) 786-7976
(360) 786-7832
(360) 786-7914
(360) 786-7962
(360) 786-7892
(360) 786-7956
(360) 786-7824
(360) 786-7992
(360) 786-7936
(360) 786-7866
(360) 786-7930
(360) 786-7810
(360) 786-7910
(360) 786-7996
(360) 786-7882
(360) 786-7898
(360) 786-7988
(360) 786-7967
(360) 786-7800
(360) 786-7902
(360) 786-7876
(360) 786-7808
(360) 786-7872
(360) 786-7948
(360) 786-7970
(360) 786-7900
(360) 786-7890
(360) 786-7828
(360) 786-7990
(360) 786-7946
(360) 786-7972
(360) 786-7834
(360) 786-7980
(360) 786-7922
(360) 786-7838
(360) 786-7812
(360) 786-7886
(360) 786-7940
(360) 786-7888
(360) 786-7950
(360) 786-7864
(360) 786-7852
(360) 786-7856
(360) 786-7880
(360) 786-7944
(360) 786-7906
(360) 786-7844
(360) 786-7816
(360) 786-7802
(360) 786-7840
(360) 786-7894
(360) 786-7984
(360) 786-7908
(360) 786-7884
(360) 786-7822
(360) 786-7928
(360) 786-7994
(360) 786-7858
(360) 786-7806
(360) 786-7860
(360) 786-7874
(360) 786-7904
(360) 786-7916
(360) 786-7850
(360) 786-7826
(360) 786-7836
(360) 786-7932
(360) 786-7912
(360) 786-7924
(360) 786-7964
(360) 786-7968

UPDATE 2/26/14 3:50 PM central:  We have received word that the Washington State House of Representatives has released its budget and it includes a tax on e-cigarettes. There will be a hearing TONIGHT (Wednesday, Feb 26) at 6 PM Pacific before the House Ways & Means Appropriations Committee at the State House at 416 Sid Snyder Avenue SW in Olympia.

Updated 2/26/14 4:25 PM Central:  Please plan on arriving at 5:15 P.M. if at all possible.  As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during the meeting.

If you can't attend the meeting (or even if you can), please call the members of the House Appropriations Committee and let them know that you consider e-cigarettes to be potentially life saving, and you strongly oppose any efforts to impose punitive taxes on a product that is estimated to be 99% less hazardous than smoking.

Members of the House Appropriations Committee:

Hunter, Ross (D) Chair - (360) 786-7936
Ormsby, Timm (D) Vice Chair - (360) 786-7946
Chandler, Bruce (R)  - (360) 786-7960
Ross, Charles (R)  - (360) 786-7856
Wilcox, J.T. (R)  - (360) 786-7912
Buys, Vincent (R) - (360) 786-7854
Carlyle, Reuven (D) - (360) 786-7814
Christian, Leonard (R) - (360) 786-7820
Cody, Eileen (D) - (360) 786-7978
Dahlquist, Cathy (R) - (360) 786-7846
Dunshee, Hans (D) - (360) 786-7804
Fagan, Susan (R) - (360) 786-7942
Green, Tami (D) - (360) 786-7958
Haigh, Kathy (D) - (360) 786-7966
Haler, Larry (R) - (360) 786-7986
Harris, Paul (R) - (360) 786-7976
Hudgins, Zack (D) - (360) 786-7956
Hunt, Graham (R) - (360) 786-7824
Hunt, Sam (D) - (360) 786-7992
Jinkins, Laurie (D) - (360) 786-7930
Kagi, Ruth (D) - (360) 786-7910
Lytton, Kristine (D) - (360) 786-7800
Morrell, Dawn (D) - (360) 786-7948
Parker, Kevin (R) - (360) 786-7922
Pettigrew, Eric (D) - (360) 786-7838
Schmick, Joe (R) - (360) 786-7844
Seaquist, Larry (D) - (360) 786-7802
Springer, Larry (D) - (360) 786-7822
Sullivan, Pat (D) - (360) 786-7858
Taylor, David (R) - (360) 786-7874

Tharinger, Steve (D) - (360) 786-7904


Last year, the State of Washington wisely banned sales of “vapor products” to minors.  This year, groups opposing e-cigarettes have pushed for legislation to redefine e-cigarettes as a “tobacco product” and a “tobacco substitute.”

Senate Bill 6569 was introduced on February 19, 2014 and has been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.   The matter could be considered as early as next week.

If passed, Senate Bill 6569 will:
  • Eliminate the definition of e-cigarettes as vapor products and instead define them as a “tobacco product” and a “tobacco substitute.”
  • Subject e-cigarettes to an unconscionable 95% tax.

Remember, you can register to receive free CASAA e-mail alerts regarding this and other legislation in Washington and across the United States. We will alert you when there are other opportunities to voice your concerns to the members of the Washington State Legislature. 

Please call or write the members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee below and tell them:

1. Explain that you are a you are a Washington resident, and you would like them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 6569 because it would impose a 95% tax on the sale of electronic cigarette devices and liquids.  (If you are responding to this Call to Action and are not a state resident, please mention any connection you have to the area, for example, you travel to Washington on vacation or have friends/family in the area.) 

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette or another smoke-free product has changed your life.

3.  Explain that:
  • While high cigarette taxes are justified by many as necessary to cover governmental healthcare expenditures caused by smoking and encourage smokers to quit smoking, trying to impose similar levels of tax on reduced risk products like e-cigarettes is unwarranted and would actually work against public health.
    • E-cigarettes are estimated to pose approximately 1% of the risk of that from smoking.  Given the low risks of e-cigarettes, imposing ANY additional tax (let alone a punitive tax of 95%) on e-cigarettes is completely unjustified and abusive.
    • The low risks of e-cigarettes is supported by research done by Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Thomas Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth, Dr Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Murray Laugesen of Health New Zealand, Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University, and by the fact that the 2009 FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in e-cigarette vapor.
  • Supporters of this legislation claim that punitive taxes should be imposed on all tobacco products for public health reasons.  However, the truth is that there is absolutely no public health benefit to excessively taxing products that pose an estimated 1% of the risk of that of smoking.  In fact, imposing high taxes on low-risk products will work against the interests of public health by discouraging smokers from using a far, far safer alternative to smoking.
  • Imposing such taxes on e-cigarettes could have devastating effects on Washington small businesses. Moreover, many Washington consumers will avoid the tax by buying online, and the costs to the Washington government to collect taxes from these citizens could outweigh the revenue the tax will bring the State.
  • Many smokers who switch to less hazardous e-cigarettes instead of continuing to smoke do so because e-cigarettes are less expensive than cigarettes.  Increasing the cost of e-cigarettes with punitive taxes would discourage many smokers from switching to e-cigarettes.  It could also encourage some e-cigarette consumers to go back to cigarette smoking.

4.  Direct them to the website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.

Comma delimited e-mail list (incomplete -- see webform links):,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Senator Andy Hill, Chair (R) 45th District
(360) 786-7672

Senator Michael Baumgartner, Vice Chair (R) 6th District
(360) 786-7610, (509) 329-3740

Senator Jim Honeyford, (R) 15th District
(360) 786-7684, Fax: (360) 786-1999

Senator James Hargrove, (D) 24th District
(360) 786-7646, (360) 457-2520, (360) 533-9477, Fax: (360) 786-1323

Senator Karen Keiser, (D) 33rd District
(360) 786-7664, Fax: (360) 786-7450

Senator Kevin Ranker, (D) 40th District
(360) 786-7678, (360) 899-5638, Fax: 360-899-5641

Senator Barbara Bailey, (R)  10th District
(360) 786-7618

Senator Randi Becker, (R) 2nd District
(360) 786-7602

Senator Andy Billig, (D) 3rd District
(360) 786-7604, (509) 209-2427

Senator John Braun, (R)  20th District
(360) 786-7638

Senator Steve Conway, (D)  29th District
(360) 786-7656

Senator Bruce Dammeier, (R)  25th District
(360) 786-7648, (253) 840-4523

Senator Karen Fraser, (D) 22nd District
(360) 786-7642, Fax: (360) 786-1999

Senator David Frockt, (D) 46th District
(360) 786-7690, (206) 729-3225 Fax: (360) 786-1446

Senator Bob Hasegawa, (D) 11th District
(360) 786-7616, 206-587-5554

Senator Brian Hatfield, (D) 19th District
(360) 786-7636

Senator Mike Hewitt, (R) 16th District
(360) 786-7630, (509) 545-2014

Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, (D) 36th Legislative District
(360) 786-7670, (206) 281-6854, Fax: (360) 786-1999, (206) 216-3182

Senator Mike Padden, (R) 4th District
(360) 786-7606, (509) 921-2460

Senator Linda Evans Parlette, (R) 12th District
(360) 786-7622, (509) 663-9702, Fax: (360) 786-1266, Fax: (509) 663-9703

Senator Ann Rivers, (R) 18th District
(360) 786-7634

Senator Mark Schoesler, Republican Leader, (R) 9th District
(360) 786-7620, Fax: (360) 786-1999

Senator Rodney Tom, (D) 48th District
(360) 786-7694


swoop_g said...

I sent an email to everyone on the list and I have received a few responses. Krista Winters, exec. ass. to Mark Schoesler emailed me and said that the bill did not get a hearing or a vote before a cut-off of Feb. 18th, so the bill is considered "dead", her words. So maybe we won a small battle, I'm not sure yet...

Kathleen O'Connor said...
That is not reflected on the website yet. Getting auto responses. They have detected our messages as spam.

Timothy Harlin said...

I emailed each of the reps, and included the CASAA scientific studies, so they can not say they have never seen them. I hope they can read...

Arthur Dent said...

I emailed them. I hope they listen. The high cigarette taxes were to pay for smoking related illnesses, and to get people off of smokes. What's the excuse this time?

Stacy said...

Thanks for the link, I used the webform, just in case. :)

Anthony Broyles said...

This just goes to show that greed is more important than common sense. It is all about how they can control the monetary aspects of this product. If we cannot control it, we will tax and ban it to death. The high tax on cigarettes was bad enough. Life is about more than how much money you can make off of it. It just goes to show that it isn't about the people, but about the revenue they can take from the people.

Marcus Gray said...

Uhm...even marijuana isn't taxed that high, so wth?

William Ashford said...

The US government receives a LARGE amount of money from tobacco lobbyists and as I see it, those lobbyists are anti-vaping. It would make financial sense for the US government to use any excuse to keep that money coming in.

Tim Klerekoper said...

Sent off a personal email to everyone on the list ... some of which I know personally. We need to make sure they all have access to information ... the idea that they are exempting patches and pills when ecigs are 300% more effective etc. is something we must communicate to them!

Michael Liu said...

My Washington State legislator emailed me back and said this bill did not make it out of committee.

Torrence Rockwell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Willie Mcgrait said...

Emailed them all. Better late than never. 95% is unbelievable. Hope this thing doesn't go through.

RandomMonkey said...

House meeting for the house finance committee 10am this Friday at the O'Brien Building at the State House (504 15th Ave SE in Olympia).

Eagle II said...

To The Honorable State of Washington's State Representatives:


1. I am not a constituent. I livein the great State of Texas, City of Houston, County of Harris, and come before you
and ask you give my comments on the matter [HB 2795] above what ever consideration you may feel may be proper
and just. ( I may not have cited the proper house bill, please bare with senility in it's early stages and apply the HB
I seek to cite concerning Vapeing )

2. About Me and Vaping.

a): I am over 66 years old and smoked with out cease since I was a young man in my teens. I tried to quit once
when in my 40's to no avail.

b): Young grunts on line who run REDCON-1 music group started to encourage folks to quit smoking by vaping.
I was as sarcastic as any one with my retorts... but then..

c): I decided to try. On 09 SEP 13 I tried vaping. Tried is not the proper descriptive, in this instant, as from that
day on ( almost 6 Months to date ) I have not touched a cigaret. You think I am delightfully surprised you should hear
my wife and sons delight. In fact, they are the ones keeping track on the calender. I have not had the urge to light one
up since.

Please keep these facts in mind when you convene to consider and decide the issue at hand that concerns vaping. To
add undue tax would remove for many these days, the ability to use vaping as a tool to cease smoking. My story I am
now sure is only one of many. You may never hear all of the good vaping has done for individuals and vicariously
families as not every one who was redeemed from an untimely death or debilitating disease will write.

Thank you for your time and any consideration you may be able to extend to my comment(s).

Ray Yeates said...

Here's the facts provided by the authorative voice itself Dated April 01/2013. Canada has abided by the same conclusion. There is no ban . There is only one thing that would stand out in a court of law.....that being: just like the tobacco producers the lies, the lies, the lies.

These nor electronic vaporizers are tobacco products. That is why they cannot be taxed as such!

When nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products were first marketed
almost 30 years ago to help people stop smoking, there wasn't a lot of
data available on how long consumers could safely use them, and whether
they could be used in combination with other NRTs or continued smoking.

That has changed in the intervening years as researchers conducted studies and clinical trials.

the Food and Drug Administration—after reviewing scientific research on
the safety of NRT products sold over the counter (OTC)—has decided that
some warnings and limitations specified in the directions for use on
the labels of these products are no longer necessary to make sure they
are used safely and effectively to quit smoking.

The changes that
FDA is allowing to these labels reflect the fact that although any
nicotine-containing product is potentially addictive, decades of
research and use have shown that NRT products sold OTC do not appear to
have significant potential for abuse or dependence.

The changes
being recommended by FDA include a removal of the warning that consumers
should not use an NRT product if they are still smoking, chewing
tobacco, using snuff or any other product that contains
nicotine—including another NRT.

Here's the full statements>>>>

uueditor said...

Association of Washington Business, the State Chamber of Commerce, We are front and center of this fight along with ATA.. This bill is attached to the budget and we don't see this living past Thursday night, there is no indication that this Bill will go anywhere but back to be rewritten for next session in January.

uueditor said...

We need to hear from your industry, shops, manufacturers, importers, all other business owners, wholesalers by emailing me so that we can get you on the list for next year's fight. We are going to defeat this!

uueditor said...

The bill did make it out of the Finance Committee and is attached the General Budget. HB 2795 with the e vapor tax was given a 75% tax but it our Association and your organizations like ATA, CASAA are fighting this hard.