It may cost more to purchase e-cigs in North Carolina.
The Republican-dominated NC General Assembly will consider a new tax on electronic cigarettes which is creating concern among business owners and consumers. Business owners in the Cape Fear region are already preparing for a hit in profits.
Bridgette Norris, owner of Vape Hut on Carolina Beach Road said she's concerned that any tax increase will force customers to make a decision between e-cigs and regular cigarettes. She's not only worried about the future of her business, but also the health and safety of her customers.
"Any time you add a tax to a product that is designed to help people quit smoking, you're doing a disservice to the public," Norris said. "I'm not surprised that they want to tax us, but I just hope they do it fairly."
Electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco and emit a vapor instead of smoke. They would be taxed at a much lower rate than a regular pack of cigarettes, which has a 45 cent per pack excise tax.
Support for the new tax comes from an unlikely source in tobacco giant, Reynolds American. The Winston-Salem based company says they plan to start selling e-cigs soon.
The proposed tax will be introduced during the legislative session that starts Wednesday.
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