Health advocates fighting plan to cut Indiana’s vaping tax

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Anti-smoking advocates are arguing against a proposal that would reduce Indiana’s new tax on electronic cigarettes before it even takes effect.

The proposal approved by the Republican-dominated state Senate last month would cut the 25% tax charged to wholesalers for closed-system cartridges such as Juul devices to 15%. The Legislature approved the higher rate last year for Indiana’s first tax on vaping devices to start July 2022.

Health groups and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce urged the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday to keep the 25% rate, saying they believed vaping devices should face taxes similar to tobacco products to discourage young people from starting to use them.

Bryan Hannon of the American Cancer Society said the vaping device tax should be at least 20% to be in parity with Indiana’s 99.5 cents-per-pack cigarette tax.

Groups representing e-cigarette retailers said the lower tax rate was needed so that Indiana’s e-cigarette tax was closer to the rates in neighboring states.

The House committee won’t take action on the bill until at least next week.