• April 5, 2020

Smoke tax could fire up vapor sales

After a state senator in Nebraska’s legislature proposed increasing the tax on cigarettes to $1.50 per pack, some local businesses see it as a way to expand their business.

Though many smokers are upset with the proposal, vape shop owners are one of the few who see some benefits to the tax increase, according to a story published by a Nebraska NBC News affiliate.

“I believe that it would bring more people in. I don’t know how many people it wouthld bring in, but I do think some other people would come in and try vaping,” Hastings Vapors store manager Jonathan Compton said.

Compton said the cost of vaping could even save smokers more money in the long run. “I think that’s kind of been the point of the sin tax the whole time, has been, ‘If we increase the price, it’ll get less and less people smoking, particularly the poor,” Compton said.

Compton said the initial cost of purchasing an e-cigarette is expensive, but after that, a week’s worth of vaping juice is $16, as opposed to a week’s worth of cigarettes under the new tax, costing $50 if a pack is purchased every day.

“I can’t see paying another dollar and a half a pack. It would be $6.50? Yeah, I can’t see that. I think I’d have to think about quitting real hard,” Hahn said. The increase hasn’t been discussed yet, but with talks of the tax, some smokers are already considering going electronic.

“I know a lot of guys do that vape down where I work. They gave up cigarettes and just do that,” Hahn said. “It would probably send people to try it. I’d try it, I mean.”