According to a report by news.yahoo on January 4, more than 30 states in the United States have implemented tax rates on e-cigarettes. However, Texas only taxes cigarettes and has no special tax on e-cigarette products.
The Texas Comptroller defines e-cigarettes as “battery-operated vaporizers that simulate smoking by producing an aerosol similar to smoke.”
This broad definition includes vaping devices of all shapes and sizes that use a heating element or atomizer to vaporize e-liquids, including nicotine, vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol and flavorings.
Although the nicotine in e-cigarettes comes from tobacco, e-cigarette products are not subject to cigarette taxes because they do not meet Texas' legal definition of a cigarette. The Auditor General made it clear that e-cigarettes and e-liquids do not meet the statutory definition of cigarettes and are therefore excluded from cigarette tax.
However, despite being exempt from cigarette taxes, Texas still legally classifies e-cigarettes as a tobacco product, and the state imposes similar age restrictions as cigarettes.
In 2019, Texas attempted to pass a bill to impose a 10% state retail excise tax on e-cigarette products. However, the bill was defeated in the House of Representatives, avoiding an additional tax burden on e-cigarettes.
This unique tax policy in Texas has attracted widespread attention and also prompted people to think about the legislative and regulatory measures in other states. Regional differences in the taxation and regulation of e-cigarettes remain a topic of great concern, and how different states balance regulation of this new tobacco product will continue to cause concern and controversy.