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New Jersey Vape Shops Resist Proposed Tax Hike

New Jersey Vape Shops Resist Proposed Tax Hike



New Jersey Vape Shops Resist Proposed Tax Hike

In March, we discussed the potentially crippling effects of a proposed 75 percent ‘vape tax’ in New Jersey, and how that could negatively affect businesses in immediately upon passing. As expected, local vape companies and vapers are not happy with Assembly Bill No. 1586; in a new article from NJ.com, some of those vapers who would be affected by the tax are speaking out and outlining potential risks to their hobby and/or small business.

The article follows the journey of Mike Moran, a smoker-turned-vape-evangelist who went on to open his own vape shop in Cherry Hill - Firehouse E-Cigs & Vapors. Vapers all over the world will recognize Moran's story, as most of us are ex-smokers and some of us even know someone who's opened a vape-related business. This proposed tax has particular resonance for Breazy, as our distribution center is located in New Jersey.

"Whether they make it 75 percent or 40 percent or 30 percent, all it does is show they'd rather steal money than have people quit smoking. And to me, that's just insanity," Moran said.

The 75 percent tax proposal in New Jersey would apply to any product defined as “a device that can deliver nicotine, nicotine and flavor, or other chemicals or substances to a person inhaling from the device that electronically or by other means vaporizes a liquid solution into an aerosol mist or vapor, simulating the act of tobacco smoking. An electronic cigarette includes but is not limited to any components, parts or accessories thereof which contain nicotine, such as cartridges and vials, and includes any delivery device components, whether or not sold separately[.]"

Moran, a 48-year-old tobacco convert, opened his store in Cherry Hill where as a teenager he used to buy and smoke cigarettes. He has since expanded his operation to include two shops in addition to a small wholesale distribution company that employs 16 people.

"This is where I started smoking. So maybe if I can stop some other folks from smoking, maybe I can earn my wings back," Moran said from his Cherry Hill store.

Borrowing from a bill that's been stalled in the state legislature, New Jersey’s new Democratic Governor Phil Murphy's state budget hopes to raise $59 million from new vapor taxes. But with the tax bill looming, Moran is considering moving his business out of the state.   

"New Jersey is never going to see the revenue. All they're going to do is put stores out of business, make people lose their jobs and perpetuate the cycle of smoking in the state," he argues.

While proponents of the higher tax bill argue that the new taxes would reduce the overall smoking rate, or that it’s merely in lockstep with surrounding states that have passed similar bills, those surrounding states have all but decimated the vapor industry. In particular, the state of Pennsylvania’s 40 percent tax drove hundreds of brick-and-mortar shops out of business. The resulting destruction of the vapor industry in one of New Jersey’s neighbors proves Moran’s fear for the future of his business is far from unfounded.