Sunday, February 22, 2015

Utah Call to Action: Take action now to oppose excessive and punitive taxes on vapor products!

UPDATE 2/26/15: While a potential tax threat is never truly "dead," we have been informed by credible sources that it appears unlikely that a bill taxing vapor products will be introduced this legislative session. We do, however, expect legislation to be introduced on other issues impacting e-cigarettes, and we will update this Call to Action and/or issue new Call(s) to Action as appropriate. It sounds as if our voices were heard loud and clear, and so, at least for now, we are considering this Call to Action successfully concluded.

Vapers are facing an immense tax threat in the State of Utah.  At the request of Governor Gary Herbert, who is seeking to plug holes in his state budget for 2016, State Representative Paul Ray is expected to introduce a bill this week that would impose an excessive and punitive tax on e-cigarettes.  He has also stated publicly that his bill will enact regulations similar to what the Weber-Morgan Board of Health adopted last October.  If implemented at the state level, these regulations could make Utah a regulatory island and cut consumers off from a variety of products.  One section, in particular, would set a dangerous precedent in regards to acceptable levels of nicotine contained in bottled e-liquid that could easily be exploited to make them less effective.

Please take action now and send an email expressing opposition to punitive vapor taxes in Utah.

As mentioned, Representative Ray is expected to introduce his bill this week.  There is a short window between deadlines for introducing bills and having them heard in committee in Utah so timing and participation is crucial to defeating this bill.  We will update this call to action as details arise.  You can also follow developments via Utah Smoke-Free Association here.

(Writing Tip #1) If you have a lot to say, please craft your email in a separate word doc and then copy/paste it into the field provided.  If you take too long, they system will time out and you will lose your work.

(Writing Tip #2) Although we've provided a prewritten email with compelling talking points, we would strongly encourage you to edit the email because personalized communications to legislators are far more persuasive than form letters.  At a minimum, PLEASE INSERT YOUR PERSONAL STORY (just a few sentences) in the text of your email.

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