BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed a bill that would increase taxes on vape products, with the extra dollars going to underpaid state officials’ pockets.
Wholesalers and retailers in Louisiana expect prices for vapor products and vapes to increase from 5 cents per milliliter to 15 cents per milliliter.
“I’m always hesitant to do anything to raise taxes. I’m usually the guy who says, ‘No, no, no.’ This was an idea as a way to promote,” said state Rep. Paul Hollis. “I believe a pay raise for Louisiana State Police is long overdue.”
The Louisiana Legislature passed HB 635 during the 2023 legislative session, increasing taxes on liquid nicotine solutions consumed as vapor products.
“More than 13 of the 144 House and Senate members voted no. I think that’s their way of saying, hey, we have a lot of respect for the state police. And this raise is long overdue. But we did it. And then I was very pleased with the Senate side, 38 out of 39 members supported it,” Hollis said.
Officials said additional funds from the tax increase will go not only to the Louisiana State Police but also to the state fire marshal and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Revenue Minister Kevin Richard said they also hoped it would make young people think twice about buying the product.
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“Consumers don’t necessarily know what’s in the products, which means they’re not regulated. Another thing that comes up is the ability to impose these taxes. Because there are so many online vendors selling these products, they can fall under the radar In the hands of young people, that’s a major problem,” Richard said. “This bill actually tightens some of those things, and in addition to raising taxes, it also provides for a catalog that will be administered by the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.”
Effective October 1, every vape and nicotine manufacturer selling products in Louisiana must register each product with the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC). Wholesalers and retailers who fail to comply are subject to penalties ranging from misdemeanors to felonies and other penalties. fine and confiscation of license.