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Tax Hikes Hit E-Cigs - KOAM TV 7

Tax Hikes Hit E-Cigs

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

$400 million worth of tax increases began Wednesday, in Kansas.
Sales tax is going up. cigarette tax is 50-cents higher. But one new tax that will join the increases next year.. will affect e-smokers.
Ryan Alcott switched from tobacco to e-cigs about 5 months ago.
"Because I had a really bad smoking habit," Alcott said. "It was starting to get to my health and stuff like that."
Since then, he's been cigarette free.
"I've got a 7-year old daughter," Alcott said. "So I want to be around as long as I can be for her, as well, too."
Robert Lee, owner of "Go Vapor" in Pittsburg, hears these success stories every day.
"The majority of the people come in cause they want to get off cigarettes," Lee said. 
If the increased price on e-liquid, or vape juice, deters customers -- Lee says it could be more damaging to e-smokers' health than to their pocketbooks.
"The ones that have started vaping are now just gonna have to pay more," Lee said. "It's almost a 50% increase on the price of some of the juice that we have."
Starting July 1st of next year, Kansas will tack a 20-cent tax to every milliliter of e-liquid sold.
"A $7 bottle of juice that we have, which is our most common seller, that would increase $3 to make it 10," Lee said. 
"There are quite a few customers that come in here and they have stopped smoking cigarettes using these e-cigarettes," sales rep Corey Webb said. "And they are on a fixed income. And every dollar matters to them."
Management believes that the new tax could not only drive customers back to cigarettes, but across state lines.
"I'll see that some of our customers will go to Joplin or somewhere else to get it across the line," Lee said. "Or they'll order online which is taking revenue from us."
"I'm not too happy about it," Alcott said. "It's probably gonna turn a lot of people away that are actually trying to quit smoke cigarettes."
State sales tax rose from 6.15% to 6.5%.

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