Filling up a vaporizer is about to get a lot more expensive in Pennsylvania.
By Brittany Boyer | September 28th, 2016
Starting this weekend, there will be a new 40 percent tax. It will impact all vaping products including electronic cigarettes sold at vape shops.
Even though the new tax is a done deal, one lawmaker is trying to change things for the future.
Rep. Jeff Wheeland is the sponsor of HB 2342. The house bill would include a smaller tax of 5 cents per milliliter.
At Vape Dragons in Wyoming, the store owner is open to anything other than 40 percent.
“What will happen is you’ll see people that got in the business thinking this is my American Dream. They get the big stamp on the head and say, this is not how it works in our country now. Now you have to face the piper and a lot of people will go out of business,” Charles McAvoy of Vape Dragons said.
So far, Vape Dragons has two stores in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties. Another store is under construction in Wilkes-Barre.
McAvoy worries an extra 40 percent will turn away customers.
“Something that you buy for $10 now has to be charged, you know you have to add $4 to it. Then you have to send that price off to the customers which is really unfair to the business owner and the customers,” McAvoy said.
“It won’t be as much as buying a cigarette and supporting that habit, but in the same sense, it’s making it harder for these companies and small businesses to stay in business,” Mark Catanzariti of Swoyersville said.
Angel Belford worries about the future of the industry. She’s concerned as an employee and also as someone who enjoys vaping.
“I’m going to have to spend more of my money to get my vaping supplies. I switched from smoking to vaping because it’s more expensive in the long run,” Belford said.
The 40 percent tax increase begins in Pennsylvania on Saturday. The house bill that would lower the tax could go up for a vote as early as this fall.