Omaha, NE Increases Taxes on E-Cigarette by 7%

By Dave S. Posted September 27, 2012

Tax Increase on E-CigarettesThe CASAA (Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association) is a well-known non-profit e-cig organization dedicated to helping people know the truth about smoking and about low-risk substitutes to smoking, wrote a letter to Omaha city officials regarding certain oversights in the newly introduced tobacco tax. Lawmakers in the city are debating an ordinance in order to make changes in Chapter 12, Article VII of the Omaha Municipal Code. This code is concerned with tobacco products sale.


CASAA, in its strongly worded letter dated 21st September 2012, stated that the planned ordinance contained many factual errors regarding the use of tobacco products. This organization found particular fault with Section 12-135(a), Findings and Intent, since it does not stipulate that cigarettes are more dangerous than any other kind of tobacco product.


This is a great disservice to tobacco users who do not necessarily smoke cigarettes. While CASAA acknowledges that nicotine is one of the most addictive substances used by man (here are the top 10 nicotine studies for more information), it is not nicotine that causes cancer, heart disease or high blood pressure. This consumer body maintains (and this is backed by scientific evidence) that long term smokers who are simply unable to quit the habit are able to do so if they have access to smoke-free alternatives.


There are many low risk products that enable people to quit smoking without going through a lot of distress. These products consists of electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products and various Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products. Doctors have begun to recommend these products that contain nicotine in various concentrations because cigarette smoking is simply too hard a habit to break.


If Omaha City officials do not make a difference between cigarettes and smoke-free tobacco products then public health will actually be endangered. The cost of lower-risk products will increase because of the proposed tax hike that is meant to deter smokers. A substantial price hike of various smoke-free tobacco products will simply make them too expensive for most people to afford. CASAA is very emphatic in its assertion that the new ordinance will create more harm than good in Omaha and should therefore not be passed under any circumstance.