Anti-tobacco groups are calling on lawmakers to raise the tax on products that have been left out of recent increases, such as e-cigarettes and chew. They’re reigniting their call as part of World No Tobacco Day.
The American Cancer Society says these alternative tobacco products should be taxed just as high as cigarettes.
Jeff Stephens with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network says bringing parity between cigarettes and chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes and cigars will ultimately help keep young people from smoking.
“That’s how many youth initiate their tobacco use and their lifelong addiction to tobacco and they move over into combustibles. So we need to raise the tax of those products to be on an equal level,” he said.
A new study has found the same carcinogen in regular cigarettes are in e-cigarettes, too.
A pack of cigarettes in Ohio comes with an extra tax of $1.60. Gov. John Kasich has proposed a 65-cent increase, but Ohio lawmakers refused.
Recent measures to attach extra tax to alternative tobacco products have failed in the House and Senate. Meanwhile, some local communities, including Akron, Columbus and Cleveland, have tried to curb youth tobacco use by banning sales of tobacco products to people younger than 21.