By now, every vaper in SE Pennsylvania should know about Philadelphia Councilwoman Brown’s proposal to impose a burdensome tax on vapor products. The proposal is being presented as a necessary measure to partially shore up an astonishing gap in the city’s budget for public schools. (Apparently, this is a new twist on “Think of the children.”)
Brown’s proposal, if passed, would mean a $2.00 tax on devices and $0.50/ml tax (up to $5.00) on liquids. Although some may be tempted to view this tax as a “bake sale” for public schools, at its core, the proposal is predatory and short sighted. The fact remains that Councilwoman Brown sees an opportunity to exploit an emerging market with potentially devastating consequences to consumers and businesses in Philadelphia.
Simply stated, if this proposal passes, brick and mortar shops in Philadelphia will not be able to be competitive, and Philadelphia consumers will lose a valuable resource. Local vape shops are not simply a convenience for consumers. They provide a hub for social gatherings, expert information and help in making the transition from smoking to vaping, and a place for people to try different devices and liquids prior to purchase.
October 31, 2014: Please note that for now, participation in this Call to Action is limited to people who have an address in Philadelphia. We expect to expand participation to a broader geographic area next week, and will update this Call to Action when we've done so.