Micahel Dorausch, Wikimedia Commons
E-cigarette shop owners in Washington are bracing themselves for a tax fight in the upcoming session of the state legislature. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee proposed a 95 percent tax on e-cigarettes, according to the Northwest News Network
. That would treat vaping products the same as tobacco and raise $18 million in tax revenue during the next budget cycle.
That makes store owners like Brad Bellinger, who owns Lilac City Vapor in Spokane, consider moving his business across the border into Idaho if the tax is approved.
"Because it would double the price for everything," Bellinger told Northwest News Network. "It would be cheaper to smoke again."
Bellinger said he supports banning sales of the brightly colored and sweet flavored products to minors, as Washington and Idaho have already done, but he said vaping helped him kick a 20-year smoking habit.
Washington's governor is also asking the legislature to require e-cigarette distributors and retails obtain licenses under the state Liquor Control Board.
Northwest News Network reported that other counties and cities in the area have taken their own actions against vaping, such as Grant County in Washington, which banned e-cigarettes everywhere smoking is banned on Jan. 1. Lane County, Oregon banned sales of e-cigarettes to minors. Nampa banned the use of e-cigarettes in city buildings and Meridian banned them from city parks. Craters of the Moon National Monument also banned vaping in public facilities and caves.