Oklahoma Senate passes bill redefining ‘tobacco products’


TULSA, Okla. — State senators handed Senate Invoice 1078, Tuesday. The invoice redefines “tobacco merchandise” below state statute for tax functions.

The modification strikes language in state legislation defining “other forms and types of tobacco appropriate for smoking” as tobacco merchandise.

“This may create an avenue of entry for youth,” Corey Love, specialist for Tulsa Well being Division’s Wholesome Dwelling Program. “Quick access.”

Love and Sarah Rivin of the American Coronary heart Affiliation in Oklahoma, stated the invoice would exempt nicotine merchandise, reminiscent of lozenges and pouches from a state excise tax. Together with e-cigarettes and vape gadgets that are already exempt.

“When these merchandise, that are already fairly low-cost get even cheaper, they grow to be extra enticing to new customers, and naturally after we’re speaking about new customers we’re speaking about teenagers,” Rivin stated.

Jennifer Burton, proprietor of Vape This retailers in Tulsa and Damaged Arrow, Okla., informed 2 Information it doesn’t make sense to incorporate nicotine merchandise with out tobacco below “tobacco merchandise.”

“It is not tobacco,” she stated.

Vaporized nicotine has proven threat of lung irritation in uncommon circumstances, and the stimulant is addictive. Nevertheless, Burton stated different chemical compounds like caffeine are addictive and shouldn’t have extra gross sales tax.

“It sends the improper message to the consumer that you simply’re putting a sin tax on someone that’s attempting to make use of a product to maintain them from utilizing cigarettes,” Burton stated.

Senate Invoice 1078 is now within the state home chamber and is anticipated to be voted on as early as Wednesday.

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