e-cigarettes

Creative Commons Lauri Rantala

In his first budget proposal, Gov. Tom Wolf called for a series of tax changes—increases and decreases—most notably hikes in the personal income tax from 3.07 to 3.7 percent and the state sales tax from the current 6 percent up to 6.6 percent.

But another tax proposal has angered a growing industry in the commonwealth and at least one anti-smoking organization.

Wolf wants a 40 percent tax on the wholesale price of vapor products such as electronic cigarettes as well as on cigars and loose and smokeless tobacco.

E-cigarettes are marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. The use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, is on the rise in popularity among adults and teens.

Since it’s a new technology, the health effects aren’t fully understood, but officials are warning that small children could be at risk from exposure to the liquid used in e-cigarettes.

A state Senate committee has advanced a plan to treat electronic cigarettes no differently than tobacco cigarettes.

E-cigarettes produce no smoke, just a vapor that delivers nicotine to the user.

A proposal is before the state Senate to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors in Pennsylvania, just as the sale of tobacco cigarettes to anyone younger than 18 is prohibited.  

Republican state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf of Montgomery County says Pennsylvania lawmakers wouldn’t be the first to take up this issue.  

The Pennsylvania Medical Society wants to light a flame under e-cigarette regulations.

More than 200 physicians called on the state legislature to pass electronic cigarette legislation similar to existing tobacco laws. 

The physicians met at the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s annual meeting over the weekend and expressed concerns about the devices.

E-cigarettes are marketed as a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes, but the battery-powered devices give smokers doses of nicotine and other additives in an aerosol.

State Sen. Tim Solobay (D-Washington) wants the commonwealth to become the 21st state to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

E-cigarettes have been marketed as a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes, but a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests they could be a gateway to regular cigarette use.

The study showed 160,000 teens nationwide who never smoked cigarettes before used electronic cigarettes in 2012.

The devices are battery-powered and provide users with doses of nicotine and other additives in an aerosol.